United Kingdom tries to counter claims it's unprepared for Brexit talks

13 Août, 2017, 04:17 | Author: Cyril Hebras
  • Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond attends a meeting in Brasilia

The government will this week publish the first of three discussion papers ahead of the next round of negotiations, scheduled to start August 28 in Brussels, Brexit Secretary David Davis's office said in a statement on Sunday.

The papers, to be published from this week, will include one covering the thorny issue of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic after the United Kingdom has left the EU. But, Brussels has insisted that progress must be made on divorce arrangements first.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said the publication of the papers would mark "an important next step" towards delivering last year's referendum vote to leave the EU.

Ireland's premier Leo Varadkar meanwhile has expressed his frustration at the failure so far of the UK Government to come up with firm proposals to ensure that there is no return to the "hard" border between the North and the Republic.

On his first official visit to Northern Ireland earlier this month, the Taoiseach even put forward his own suggestions for a "soft Brexit" - including the possibility of creating a new EU-UK customs union.

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The documents - setting out proposals for Northern Ireland and the border with Ireland, continuity on the availability of goods and confidentiality, and access to official documents after Brexit - will seek to prove the U.K.is ready for talks to advance to the next stage, according to the statement.

"During this period our borders must continue to operate smoothly; goods bought on the internet must still cross borders; businesses must still be able to supply their customers across the European Union, and our innovative, world-leading companies must be able to hire the talent they need, including from within the European Union", they said.

Eager to push talks past the opening divorce issues and on to the future trading and legal ties to the bloc, Britain also promised a series of "Future Partnership" papers in the run-up to October's European Council.

"It's what businesses across Europe have called on both sides to do and will demonstrate that the United Kingdom is ready for the job".

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