Britain and European Union 'get to work' on Brexit
- Author: Megan Austin Jul 18, 2017,
Jul 18, 2017, 0:24
David Davis, the Britain's Brexit secretary, began four days of talks with European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels on Monday, but flew home to London after only three hours of negotiation.
The former diplomat also highlighted the importance of domestic policy on Brexit, especially regarding the Great Repeal Bill the Government has promised to deliver to ensure "legal continuity" after the divorce becomes effective. "As long as we leave in March 2019, then I'm happy, as long as we've got a very time-limited transitional period to make it work for business", he said.
A University of Sussex study focusing on the food supply showed the potential consequences of no deal: tariffs of as much as 22 percent, the need to replace a "vast array" of food standard institutions across Europe, and tricky questions of how to replace European Union subsidies and farm laborers who often take seasonal work that British citizens don't want.
"For us, it's incredibly important that we now make good progress", added Davis.
Barnier, who has repeatedly called on weakened British Prime Minister Theresa May to quickly set out her divorce strategy, said they needed to "examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress".
Mr Davis returns to Brussels this morning for round two.
"We'll now delve into the heart of the matter", Barnier told reporters, declining questions until the end of this round of talks on Thursday.
At a one-day session in June both sides agreed on a broad timetable for the talks.
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Over the weekend British newspapers were full of reports of a civil war within her cabinet, with finance minister Philip Hammond, in particular, being targeted over allegations he was trying to derail Brexit.
Davis is attempting to accelerate a dialogue between himself and Barnier, open divisions in British Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet make it hard to determine the British course of action, Bloomberg News said Monday.
"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.
The negotiation is expected to be complicated, as May's minority government will face challenges at every step in the process.
The couple arrived with their children George and Charlotte in Warsaw at the start of a five-day tour.
Negotiation on the exit bill might be tough as British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson made the remark last week that the European Union could "go whistle" over its "extortionate" bill demand, which means the European Union has little chance of getting it.
But, like non-EU immigrants now, they would lose the right to vote in local elections in Britain and would be subject to minimum salary requirements to be able to bring family members into the country.
United Kingdom finance minister Philip Hammond said Sunday that Britain will take responsibility for the money it owes, but dismissed the 100 billion euro figure as "ridiculous".