United Kingdom seeks progress on citizens' rights as Brexit talks resume

David Davis to return to Brexit negotiations amid public rows with EU and cabinet woes
The Brexit Secretary will enter the second round of negotiations today

17 July, 2017

DAVID Davis has declared it's time to "get down to work" as he arrives in Brussels to meet with European Union negotiators as the Brexit talks begin in earnest.

Britain and the European Union (EU) launch a new round of Brexit negotiations here on Monday as conflicting views on "divorce" terms cast shadow on the resumption of talks and a feasible deal seems rather hard to reach for now.

"I look forward to our negotiations this week", Michel Barnier said, according to The Guardian newspaper, as the two sides met in Brussels for talks that are scheduled to last until Thursday.

During four days of talks the two sides hope to make progress on key issues surrounding Britain's withdrawal, including citizens' rights and its exit bill, so that negotiations can move on to discuss a future trade deal later this year. This was "more a technical argument" and still had to be negotiated with the EU, Fox said.

Barnier, who has repeatedly called on Britain to set out a full divorce strategy, said they needed to "examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress".

At the weekend Chancellor Philip Hammond angrily accused Cabinet rivals of trying to undermine his agenda for a "softer" business-friendly exit, prioritising jobs and the economy.

"The plenary meetings [of the Brexit talks] will show us whether there is a realistic basis for agreement or whether the British government can not move at all because of its own problems", said Elmar Brok, a German centre-right MEP who helps coordinate the European parliament's position on Brexit.

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"We made a good start last month, and this week we'll be getting into the real substance", Davis said in a statement released by his office.

These talks focus on Britain's arrangements to leave the EU.

David Davis, the UK's Brexit minister, took a break from cabinet infighting on Monday to make a lightning trip to Brussels, albeit one mainly notable for an awkward photo opportunity.

The rowing will be seen as further evidence of Theresa May's weakness after seeing her Commons majority wiped out in last month's general election.

The negotiation is expected to be complicated, as May's minority government will face challenges at every step in the process.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is in Brussels on separate business, said: "A very fair, serious offer has been put on the table by the UK Government about citizenship, the value we place on the 3.2 million European Union citizens in our country".

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