Divorce bill focus of Brexit talks on Monday

Tammy Harvey
June 19, 2017

May has clung on to power since the election but has so far failed to strike an agreement with Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party that would allow her to govern.

Following tomorrow's meeting, talks will continue on a monthly basis throughout the summer.

Britain's negotiations with the European Union over its exit from the bloc begin on Monday and stand to be complicated by the surprise loss of Prime Minister Theresa May's parliamentary majority in a national election last week.

Before the election, May proposed a clean break from the European Union: leaving its single market, which enshrines free movement of people, goods, services and capital, and proposing limits on immigration and a bespoke customs deal with the EU.

The Prime Minister was significantly wounded last week after she lost her majority in the Commons in the General Election.

The Queen's Speech will be delivered on Wednesday, setting out details of the laws which the Government will want to bring in over the coming two years.

Speaking in advance of the start of what are expected to be largely procedural Brexit talks about talks and their scheduling on Monday morning Mr Hammond said "no deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain".

- Softer strategy on Brexit?

It comes after Mr Corbyn was quizzed on the issue and said Labour has supporters that backed both Leave and Remain.

They are likely to be discussing the possibility of a transition period following Brexit during which new trade arrangements can be finalised and phased in, in order to prevent a "cliff-edge" move to the new model.

The hardline faction, which includes Brexit Secretary David Davis, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, wants a clean break with the European Union in order to regain full control over Britain's borders and do trade deals with non-EU countries.

Some Conservatives have called for a more inclusive approach that would include opposition parties as well as stronger voices from Scotland and Northern Ireland, where a majority of voters backed Britain to stay in the EU.

Mr Davis said there had been a "huge amount of work across Whitehall to prepare for these talks" and insisted the United Kingdom would not "turn our backs to Europe". Business leaders say the uncertainty means they are having to plan on the assumption that Britain leaves without a proper deal.

Prime Minister May wants to negotiate the divorce and the future trading relationship with the European Union before Britain leaves in March 2019, followed by what she calls a phased implementation process to give business time to prepare for the impact of Brexit.

European Union leaders, who will meet May at a summit next Thursday, have been irritated by her repeated threats to walk out with "no deal" - even if most see that as a campaigning bluff given the chaos it would cause.

The Commission said: "The opening of negotiations at political level next week will focus on issues related to citizens' rights, the financial settlement, the Northern Irish border and other separation issues, as part of the sequenced approach to the talks".

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

Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable said: "The Chancellor stated that British exporters need arrangements as close as possible to the ones they now enjoy".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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