Britain-EU Brexit talks to start Monday as planned

  • Britain-EU Brexit talks to start Monday as planned

Britain-EU Brexit talks to start Monday as planned

The start date comes two days before the United Kingdom parliament reconvenes for the first time since last week's snap election that weakened the British prime minister, Theresa May's, position.

Britain voted by 52 percent in favour of leaving the European Union in a referendum previous year. "We are clear this is what is set out in Article 50".

On May 22, the EU Council authorised the start of Brexit talks and adopted its negotiating directives.

A DExEU spokesman said: "As we set out in the Article 50 letter, our view is that withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other".

But the Government signalled it will continue to push back against the Commission's stance by declaring the UK's withdrawal and future relationship with the European Union are "intimately linked".

In a hint at a softer approach, Mr Davis said on Monday "we will start down this process" by focusing on the divorce proceedings from the European Union before moving on to trade. As the European Union has itself said, "nothing is agreed, until everything is agreed".

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said in a Bloomberg Television interview this week that as soon as "the principles" of Brexit are agreed, talks can move on in parallel to "the details of the regulation, and what will be the further relations between the United Kingdom, after Brexit, and the single market and the European Union, and so on".

"We want to end the anxiety facing 4 million citizens", he said.

The European Commission said the one-day meeting between its chief negotiator Michel Barnier and Brexit Secretary David Davis will take place "as part of the sequenced approach to the talks" set out by the EU, which require progress to be made on withdrawal arrangements before any talks on trade can begin.

The negotiators aim to wrap up a deal by the end of 2018 so that it can be ratified by the European and British parliaments before the United Kingdom leaves the bloc in March 2019.

The announcement followed speculation that talks may have to be delayed because of the inconclusive outcome of last week's General Election, which has already forced the State Opening of Parliament to be put back from June 19 to 21.

Critics of her approach have urged her to give ground in order to safeguard jobs and the economy.