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Saturday, November 25, 2017, 

Brexit talks resume: Get down to business, David Davis urges

Brexit talks resume: Get down to business, David Davis urges

London, 17 July 2017 (MIA) - Brexit Secretary David Davis has called on both sides in the negotiations on the UK's departure from the European Union to "get down to business", BBC reports.

Mr Davis is in Brussels for a second round of formal talks on Brexit.

He said his priority was to "lift the uncertainty" for EU citizens living in the UK and Britons living in the EU.

The EU says there must be substantial progress on this - and on a financial settlement and the issue of the Irish border - before trade talks can begin.

In a brief appearance alongside EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier as they began this week's talks, Mr Davis said there had been a good start to the process and it was time to get to the "substance of the matter".

Mr Barnier said the negotiators would "now delve into the heart of the matter".

Talks will focus on citizens' rights, finance and "other separation issues", with separate negotiating teams set up for each.

Issues relating to Northern Ireland will also be addressed, with Mr Davis and Mr Barnier expected to give an update on the progress made in a press conference on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Theresa May's offer to give the three million EU citizens in the UK "settled status" after Brexit was immediately dismissed by European Council President Donald Tusk as "below our expectations".

And Mr Barnier has said there were still major differences between the EU and UK on the subject.

Arriving at a separate European Council meeting in Brussels, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UK had made a "very fair, serious offer".

"I hope very much people will look at that offer in the spirit it deserves because it's a great offer," he added.

Mr Barnier has said that citizen rights - along with the "divorce payment" and border issues - must be dealt with before future UK-EU trade could be discussed.

Mr Johnson has said that Brussels can "go whistle" if it expected the UK to pay an "extortionate" bill as part of the separation.

The government's official position, confirmed in a Parliamentary statement last week, is that it will "work with the EU to determine a fair settlement of the UK's rights and obligations as a departing member state, in accordance with the law and in the spirit of our continuing partnership". ik/11:24

 

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