European Union and Britain meet for 2nd round of Brexit talks in Brussels

17 Juillet, 2017, 15:43 | Author: Claudine Rigal
  • Round 1 Brexit talks start in Brussels with 20 months to

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

Working groups will focus on three areas: citizens' rights; the EU demand that Britain pays some 60 billion euros ($69 billion) to cover ongoing EU budget commitments; and other loose ends, such as what happens to British goods in EU shops on Brexit Day. High on the list of priorities is the status of European Union citizens in Britain after Brexit, the UK's bill for leaving and the Irish border.

Mr Hammond lifted the lid on cabinet feuding by claiming damaging stories about him had come from fellow ministers out to get him because he is pushing for a softer Brexit.

He said he came under attack at the weekend from hard line Brexiteers "who are not happy with (my) agenda" after a series of cabinet leaks meant to undermine him.

Asked why colleagues are "going for you", he pointed to disputes over Brexit, saying: "Some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda that I have".

"I do think on many fronts it would be helpful if my colleagues - all of us - focused on the job at hand", he told the BBC.

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After what the British Brexit Secretary David Davis described as a "good start" last month, a series of public spats have developed in recent weeks between British cabinet members and the EU. UK's negotiating chief is expected to return to Brussels to wrap up the second round of talks and assess this negotiating week alongside Barnier at the Berlaymont press room.

Negotiation on the exit bill might be especially tough, following British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson's remark last week that the European Union could "go whistle" over its "extortionate" bill demand. These two key players will meet regularly through the week, with the aim of keeping the talks on track.

In October, EU leaders could decide on Barnier's recommendation on whether talks have achieved "sufficient progress" in order to progress onto discussing future relations. The EU remains uncertain about whether British negotiators will be able to conclude an agreement, amid deep political divides in the government on Brexit.

We made a good start last month, and this week we'll be getting into the real substance, he said.

On Sunday, the former Tory chair Chris Patten warned that the Brexit deadlock represented one of the bleakest moments in British postwar history.

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