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emfizz.com June 26, 2017


Brexit talks begin as United Kingdom aims to strike a deal

20 June 2017, 09:45 | Terri Saunders

BORIS JOHNSONJune 18 2017 12:01am The Sunday Times Boris Johnson not hard not soft an open Brexit is best Boris Johnson

BORIS JOHNSONJune 18 2017 12:01am The Sunday Times Boris Johnson not hard not soft an open Brexit is best Boris Johnson

A year after Britain's seismic referendum, Brexit minister David Davis and the European Union's French chief negotiator Michel Barnier will meet at the European Commission in Brussels at around 0900 GMT.

It certainly is. Davis has said that while the United Kingdom is pulling out of the single market and the customs union and ending the free movement of labour, he wants an agreement that replicates as far as possible Britain's existing trade arrangements with the EU.

Other issues on the agenda, at least in the near term, include establishing residential rights of more than 3 million European Union citizens now living in the United Kingdom - and the 1 million British expats living in European Union member states - once the formal exit is complete.

But that entire approach has come under question following the June 8 general election in which Prime Minister Theresa May lost her centre-right Conservative party's parliamentary majority.

European People's Party caucus leader Manfred Weber told German radio station Bayern 2 Monday: "Our big problem is that we have no picture, no idea at all what the British want".

The British team includes the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) Olly Robbins, Phillip Rycroft, the department's Second Permanent Secretary and Simon Case, the newly appointed Director-General of the UK-EU Partnership.

"If we're going to radically change the way we work together, we need to get there via a slope, not via a cliff edge", he said.Monday's negotiations are to start in Brussels at 11 am (0900 GMT) with 90 minutes of talks between Barnier and Davis, followed by a working lunch between the pair, and a press conference.

Only when "sufficient, concrete progress" on the first phase has been made will Mr Barnier recommend to the European Council that the negotiations can enter the next stage, taking in the future trading relationship, with that recommendation possibly coming at October's summit of EU leaders.

An increasingly concerned European Union has been pushing London to hurry up, with time running out for a deal and three months already gone since May triggered the two-year Article 50 European Union exit process.

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On Monday, Mr Coveney said: "As the representative of the Irish Government at the talks, I will do my utmost to support the parties in reaching an agreement which ensures that the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement is fully protected, that all of its institutions function effectively and fairly and that previous agreements are honourably implemented".

"I look forward to beginning work on that new future".

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said: "If we don't succeed, both sides will lose".

Firstly, to adopt a much more constructive and responsible tone and approach - one that highlights our shared history and values and points to a shared future between Britain and the EU.

"The most important thing for us is to look to the horizon, raise our eyes to the horizon".

Mr Davis said Britain hadn't backed down.

The EU hasn't put an official figure on the exit bill, but some estimates are as high as €100 billion ($112 billion).

"We will negotiate fairly", Gabriel was quoted as saying.

Hammond may also give more details of his budget plans after saying on Sunday that he was "not deaf" to the weariness of voters to almost a decade of spending cuts for many services and tight controls on public sector pay.



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