Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Economy | By Guillermo Lane

Britain, EU to begin Brexit negotiations on Monday


David Davis has signalled that discussions on the UK's exit from the European Union (EU) may not start on June 19 as anticipated.

Prompted by her poor election showing, particularly among pro-EU young people who fear losses of jobs and opportunity for Brexit, some of her most senior ministers and two former Conservative prime ministers have called for a rethink.

June 22 Mr Barnier reports back to the leaders of the EU27, who are expected to endorse a process for relocation of European Union agencies now based in the UK.

"Softening" from the EU's point of view is about signalling that Britain is not seeking a future trading...

Brexit negotiations are due to start on Monday in Brussels but that will be the only day of talks next week.

The others have ruled out letting May negotiate in person with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and others. Winter/spring 2017/18 If talks are proceeding to plan, negotiators can be expected to be meeting regularly to iron out remaining issues and identify the points of difference to be settled by political leaders at the highest level.

If the chastened prime minister and Brexit Secretary David Davis take a gentler tone when talks finally launch in Brussels next week, they could win valuable concessions, some think.

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Summit chair Donald Tusk and the other leaders will not respond before May leaves the room to let the 27 discuss their own Brexit strategies. If so, it could have to be ratified by up to 38 national and regional parliaments, with any of them effectively holding a veto.

Barnier this week acknowledged "sensitivity" in London at European Union suggestions that Britain might owe it some 60 billion euros in 2019 and said sorting out the issue soon would help a trade deal: "I would like to very quickly play down this question, and find concrete, pragmatic and just solutions", he said on Monday.

Guy Verhofstadt‏ suggested the United Kingdom will need to radically diminish itself to undo the triggering of Article 50, as Alice in Wonderland, in the Lewis Carol book, had to shrink herself to fit through a tiny door, he said.

The Frenchman has been given a mandate by the leaders of the remaining EU27 states to focus initially on the key elements of the withdrawal package - a multi-billion euro "divorce bill", rights for European Union citizens and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

That the British were ready to break negotiations down on the lines of priorities identified by Brussels implied, he said, a willingness to start a first phase of divorce talks before moving on next year to a second phase on the new free trade relationship May wants - a "sequencing" London has disputed.

If no trade deal has been reached by this point, UK-EU relations could be governed by a "transitional arrangement" for some months or years.

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