Michel Barnier, 66, and David Davis, 68, spoke after the fifth round of Brexit talks in Brussels on Thursday.
Mr Davis said the Government is still keen to move discussions on to a future trade deal, while Mr Barnier warned he needs concrete progress on EU citizens’ rights, the UK’s divorce payments and the Irish border before moving to the next stage.
The frustration of the EU chief negotiator at the press conference was clear, but how will negotiations play out between the two as Brexit progresses?
Author and body language expert Judi James has decoded both men’s body language.
Though their handshake may have worn some sense of the kind of conciliatory approach that May took in her Florence speech, the smiles after on Barnier and Davis’s faces appear to have evaporated as their body language displayed a raft of negatives, from frustration to defiance, according to Judi.
She said: “The two men could hardly look less like-minded here. There is no mirroring to suggest rapport and Davies is often splayed out while Barnier’s posture is tight, formal and very closed.
“There is a point when the two men perform a body language stand-off with Davis staring across at Barnier with a mouth clamp and raised chin that is almost Churchillian while Barnier returns the gesture with a hard stare of his own, making them look defiantly stubborn rather than men working through a negotiation.”
While David grabs either side of a wide lectern and raises his brows in what looks like frustration Barnier performs a finger steeple that suggests precise thinking and higher status.
Judi added: “When Davis listens to barrier he looks away, using his earpiece as an excuse for a cut-off gesture rather than maintaining eye contact.
“Their body language suggests two men who might work and negotiate in two very differing styles and that could be exhausting for Davis.”
Theresa May delivered landmark speech on Brexit in Florence on September 22, but was the British Prime Minister confident in outlining her plans?
Judi said: ““To impress Brexiteers in the UK and to reclaim her role as our ‘strong and stable’ PM she might have risen through a trapdoor in the stage like a pants villain to known Junker and even Boris not touch with a barn-storming delivery. But charming the other EU states into agreement required a less combative and more empathetic style.
“In the event May opted for a very smart and a subtle blend of the two. Her words and gesticulation were conciliatory and optimistic. She showed energy and enthusiasm for the future by some body-bouncing rituals combined with a small pumping gesture of her upper arms against her ribs.
“Her suggestions for creative thinking were endorsed by a beach ball hands’ gesture where she cupped her hands in a ritual that emphasises a creative approach, but when she wanted to show a more solid approach her hands covered to the ‘invisible brick’ gesture world leaders use to register more precise thinking around a problem.”
During her summary, Judy noted she underlined her conciliatory approach that was “never submissive or vulnerable”.
Source : EXPRESS