It was back to the negotiating table for the big beasts of Brexit this week, with key figures from both sides locking horns. Unfortunately, they found very little to agree on, as Max Liu reports...
"Barnier's frustration with the British is that Brexit secretary David Davis and others want to have their cake and it."
It's the time of year when children are thinking about going back to school after the holidays and, for the British government, it was a case of back to Brexit this week as negotiations resumed. And what an explosive resumption it's was, as the UK and EU appeared to engage in a war of words.
The UK is [2.32] to leave the EU by the 29 March 2019 deadline and those odds will probably lengthen after the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier this week expressed his frustration with the lack of progress made in the talks. Barnier says there hasn't been "any decisive progress on any of the principal subjects".
Barnier's frustration with the British is that Brexit secretary David Davis and others want to have their cake and eat it. They want to continue enjoying all the benefits of EU membership while abandoning all of the responsibilities. He says that what the UK government are proposing in their withdrawal papers is unrealistic and impossible. He also accused the Brits of being mire in nostalgia - presumably for their imperial past.
Davis, on the other hand, said "concrete progress" was made this week, while UK trade secretary Liam Fox hit out at Barnier and his colleagues, claiming Britain was being blackmailed by the EU. His point is that, while negotiations focus on the terms of Britain's departure from the EU, it's impossible for talks to move on to negotiating Britain's future relationship with the EU - the part that will be vital to the country's future prosperity.
It all sounds like a mess and, at the moment, it will be a brave bettor who wagers big sums in Betfair's Brexit date market.