This is where Brexit talks stand as the second round begins

17 July, 2017, 16:25 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • Image BELGIUM-BRITAIN-EU-BREXIT

"I look forward to our negotiations this week", said Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, while giving a "warm welcome" to his United Kingdom counterpart, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis.

Mr Davis is facing strong opposition from the EU over Britain's proposals for rights of European nationals living in the United Kingdom, as well as pressure to accept paying a huge "divorce" bill.

It is understood that Mr Davis said in private: "If Manchester United played Real Madrid, you wouldn't let Real pick the referee". "We need to examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress", Barnier told reporters.

The Brexit Secretary said progress had to be made this month on a deal for reciprocal rights for citizens.

The latest reported attack on Mr Hammond from senior colleagues comes after he reacted angrily to a Sunday Times report claiming he told the Cabinet last Tuesday that public sector workers were overpaid.

Earlier in March, British Prime Minister Theresa May had set a two-year timetable for leaving the EU.

While we know the issue of the Irish border is high on the agenda for these discussions, the weeks since the last round of talks have seen a number of public clashes between United Kingdom and European Union leaders which are sure to be mentioned this week.

For now, the EU says May's offer to guarantee the rights of 3 million Europeans in Britain falls short.

Fox also said it would be "foolish" to go into the Brexit negotiations without being prepared to walk away, saying Britain's negotiating partners needed to believe Britain would do so rather than accept a bad deal.

The proposal to grant EU nationals "settled status", effectively indefinite leave to remain, was immediately dismissed by European Council President Donald Tusk as "below our expectations".

All three issues will be on the agenda for this week's discussions, which are expected to continue to Thursday, along with the thorny matter of the future border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

"This bill means that we will be able to exit the European Union with maximum certainty, continuity and control", Davis said.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was also in Brussels, emphasized the British offer on citizens' rights, calling it "very fair" and "serious".

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