Britain, EU to begin Brexit negotiations on Monday

Aaron Brown
June 18, 2017

He told Sky News: "It's in the week of next week, basically, the first discussions".

"Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion", the DUP's Arlene Foster said after the meeting.

Finance minister Philip Hammond will argue for Britain to stay in the customs union, in a bid to soften Brexit and alter Prime Minister's Theresa May approach, the Times reported on Tuesday citing several unnamed sources.

The others have ruled out letting May negotiate in person with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and others.

But with so much at stake for Britain and its $2.5 trillion economy, pressure was mounting on May from within and without her party to heed other voices. "We will negotiate in good faith but it is a negotiation, we recognize there will be an exchange of views and we will take that forward in a spirit of genuine cooperation".

The draft law would empower Europe to decide if post-Brexit London has the right to host financial market "clearing houses" that deal in euros, the EU's single currency. "The reality is that where we stand follows logically from leaving, so, if we're leaving, what we need to do is do it smoothly and successfully and gain economic benefit".

France's Macron said the EU's door was still open for Britain as long as the negotiations were not finished, but that it would be hard to reverse course. That's raised speculation that she will seek a softer Brexit by trying to win continued access to Britain's biggest market.

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"It will be a brand new door with a new Europe, a Europe without rebates, without complexity, with real power and with unity". "Party interest or national interest?"

"It is certainly politically desirable and provided for in the texts", she said.

Yet many of her lawmakers and party members favor a sharp break with the European Union - a sign of the divisions over Europe that helped sink the premierships of May's predecessors Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Cameron.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also warned Tuesday that time was passing.

Brexit minister David Davis has insisted the approach to the European Union divorce has not changed, but May has recognized that a broader consensus needs to be built for Brexit and has made clear she would listen to all wings of the party on the issue.

Whatever her ultimate plan, she will be heavily reliant upon the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who would help her edge past the 326 votes needed in parliament to avoid the government collapsing. One diplomat said May tried to "hijack" the summit by drawing other leaders into Brexit talks, though European Union officials played down suggestions of any agenda row with London. They have struggled for years with Irish nationalists, who want the British province to join a united Ireland.

"It includes money, they want to talk about that, we think it should come later, and Northern Ireland".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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