Brexit talks get to 'heart of the matter'

by Garry Watts July 17, 2017, 17:46
Brexit talks get to 'heart of the matter'

Mr Barnier said: "We will now delve into the heart of the matter".

Finance minister Philip Hammond, who like May campaigned last year to keep Britain in the European Union, said on Sunday he believed most of his Cabinet colleagues now backed the idea of having two years or more of a transition period after Brexit in March 2019 - to soften the disruptive effect on society and the economy.

"For us, it's incredibly important that we now make good progress", added Davis.

The negotiations this week are expected to focus on the post-Brexit rights of citizens in each other's nations, the bill Britain has to pay to meet existing commitments, the border issue in Ireland and the pre-eminence of the EU's Court of Justice.

Monday's talks, however, come amid signs of increasingly serious splits within the United Kingdom government over the preferred approach to the talks, with the chancellor, Philip Hammond, complaining on Sunday that he was being briefed against by fellow ministers opposed to his pro-business focus.

Ahead of four days of talks this week, Frenchman Barnier warned that the "hard work starts now" following the largely ceremonial first round of talks in June, and that the "clock was ticking" to reach a deal.

'Protecting the rights of all our citizens is the priority for me going into this round and I'm clear that it's something we must make real progress on'.

They want to frustrate Brexit.

With approval rating falling further, Trump blames media for 'distorting democracy'
In the Bloomberg poll, 40 percent of respondents approved of the job he is doing as president, while 56 percent disapproved. Obama's worst approval rating was 40 percent, which was recorded during his sixth year in the White House .

A weekend of media briefings from competing factions within the Conservatives did little to reassure companies, though most cabinet ministers appear now to accept that there needs to be a transition, or what May calls an "implementation phase".

These ranged from claiming that public sector workers were "overpaid" to saying that driving a train was so easy "even a woman" could do it. "Over the last few weeks, I've tried to advance ensuring that we achieve a Brexit that is focused on protecting our economy, protecting our jobs and making sure that we can have continued rising standards in the future".

The prime minister had made similar pronouncements before, but the statement to MPs and peers carried weight in Brussels.

Also on the agenda this week are the contentious issues of the financial settlement for the United Kingdom leaving the European Union and the arrangements for the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, in Brussels for a separate meeting, passed up a chance to deny that ministers are at odds.

Only when "sufficient progress" has been made on those matters will the European Union allow discussions to turn to trade.

According to EU negotiating papers, the European Commission, leading the Brexit talks for the EU, wants the ECJ to be able to hear a case if "facts relating" to it occurred at any point before Brexit day.


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