Saturday, 26 May, 2018

European Union sources: United Kingdom to agree Brexit divorce bill before trade talks

Frank Williams | 18 June, 2017, 17:40

Nearly a year after Britain voted to leave its biggest market, the talks come amid signs the United Kingdom is softening its approach to the split and adopting a more conciliatory tone.

"We have been crystal clear about our approach to these negotiations", said the spokesman.

"We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account".

Despite the disappointing results last week, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said after speaking to his British counterpart, Phillip Hammond, he believes the United Kingdom government will now start to pick up its feet on Brexit negotiations.

Since May's Conservative Party failed to win a majority in last week's general election, there has been a lot of debate over the impact on the Brexit discussions and whether the British government will be more open to compromise on some issues, like the trade.

Andrea Leadsom, leader of the House of Commons, said that Brexit would require a lot of legislation, including a law to enshrine current European Union rules into British law, known as the "Great Repeal Bill".

But the United Kingdom says Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty states "divorce talks" should take account of a departing member state's future relationship with the bloc.

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"There is a new opportunity to bring Europe forward", he said, explaining that both Hammond and he agreed from the first day that Brexit was a "situation they had to accept" and that they had to minimize the potential damage and maximize the mutual benefit.

May's Conservatives need the support of the Protestant DUP's 10 MPs to have a majority in parliament, and some have called for the government to take a cross-party approach to Brexit given May's weakened position following the election.

"Our members saw Brexit as a threat to the continued success of the creative industries, damaging growth and the UK's global outlook", says John Kampfner, CEO at the Creative Industries Federation.

"My clear view and I believe the view of the majority of people in Great Britain is we should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", Chancellor of the Exchequer Hammond said as he arrived for regular talks with his European Union counterparts in Luxembourg.

According to the statement issued on Thursday, the European Union and the United Kingdom are set to begin negotiations on Article 50, which was triggered on March 29 and sets out the procedure for withdrawing from the 27-member bloc, reports Efe news.

All timings are in Brussels time: At 11am, Michel Barnier and Brexit secretary David Davis, as well as other officials, will meet at the opeing session.


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