Jean Claude Juncker
President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said that none of the British position papers published prior to this week’s Brexit negotiations were “satisfactory”John Thys/ AFP

European Commission (EC) President Jean-Claude Juncker heaped more pressure on the UK's Brexit stance talks when he said that none of the British position papers published prior to this week's negotiations were "satisfactory".

The head of the EC, which leads the European Union side in the talks, warned that there would be no discussions of a free trade deal with the UK until progress was made on the so-called Brexit bill, Ireland and citizens' rights.

He told an audience of EU leaders today (29 August) in Brussels: "I would like to be clear that I did read with the requisite attention all the papers produced by the British government and none of those is satisfactory, so there are an enormous amount of issues that need to be settled."

The former Luxembourg Prime Minister added: "We need to be crystal clear that we will commence no negotiations on the new economic and trade relationship between the UK and the EU before all these questions are resolved ... that is the divorce between the EU and the UK. We cannot mix these issues up."

The move comes as Britain and the European bloc begin the second of four days of talks in Brussels, which form the latest round of discussions about how the pair should unpick their relationship after the UK's vote to leave the EU last July.

Yesterday the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier again upped the pressure on the UK to stick to the agenda the European bloc has set out.

Barnier said UK to start negotiating "seriously", calling on the British government to set out its position on paying an exit bill before discussing any future post-Brexit relationship.

Britain has published 11 position papers in total, including four last week, before more than 100 British negotiators travelled to Brussels for the current round of talks.

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis has called for more "flexibility and imagination" in discussions, arguing the status of Northern Ireland is inextricably linked with any future customs or trade relationship.

Britain has accused Brussels of "massively over-egging" its financial demands, estimated at between £50bn-£80bn.

Britain has so far refused to give any figure for the financial settlement, and has not made any concessions on any point that could allow a sum to be calculated.

While the EU has also accused the UK of "magical thinking" on its solutions to providing a "frictionless" border in Ireland.