German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she believes Brexit talks between the UK and the EU are moving forward. David Doyle reports.
The UK's decision to leave the EU has at times left British Prime Minister Theresa May looking like the unpopular kid at school. Not so on Thursday (October 19). The choreography on the first day of this European Union summit showing May talking animatedly with the EU's most important leaders - France's Emmanuel Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel. That as May urged a new dynamic on Brexit talks. At a summit dinner of butternut gnocchi and pheasant supreme, May appealed to EU leaders to help her silence her critics at home and break a deadlock in the talks. Merkel responding to that with words of support. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "Contrary to how it is sometimes represented in the British press - this process is moving forward step by step. Sometimes the impression is given that after just a few weeks we should now already be announcing the end. To be clear, I find that absolutely absurd." Talks have stalled largely over how much Britain owes when it leaves the bloc. EU leaders have said discussions on the future EU-UK trading relationship will not take place until they have had more details on how Britain will settle the bill. They are expected on Friday (October 20) to set a target of December for London to improve its divorce settlement offer. But in a conciliatory gesture they are also likely to call on their staff to prepare for the next stage of talks. That may be enough for May to stave off calls by several Brexit campaigners back home for her to walk away from the negotiating table.