Brexit talks: Second round of discussions kicks off in Brussels
UK Brexit secretary David Davis vows to ‘get down to work’ as fresh four-day long talks begin.
David Davis and Michel Barnier | Photo credit: Press Association
UK Brexit secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels on Monday to begin the second round of negotiations with his EU counterpart Michel Barnier.
The discussions with Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, are expected to include the UK’s financial obligations, the situation regarding the Irish/Northern Irish border and the UK’s recent offer on EU citizens’ rights.
The recommenced talks, which will run until Thursday, come as Davis’ subordinate in the British government’s department for Exiting the European Union, Baroness Anelay said last week that London “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.”
Davis, it was reported by the British press, will also warn Barnier that Brussels’ cannot “pick the referee,” following the EU’s proposal to have the European Court of Justice (ECJ) arbitrate disputes.
Davis is expected instead to propose that where different industries require regulation, Britain and the ECJ should nominate judges to sit on a panel with an independent chairman.
Barnier, it was also reported on Monday, plans to raise the thorny issue of EU import quotas on the during this week’s negotiations, according to officials briefed on the discussions. “Although not the trade discussion the UK has pushed for, talks on quotas would move negotiations past Britain’s exit from the bloc and start to imagine global trade post-Brexit,” said one EU insider.
Meanwhile, UK finance minister Philip Hammond has said that most members of the UK government now recognise that there must be a period of transition when the UK leaves the EU, so long as it is of a limited duration “in order to avoid a hard landing.”
Speaking on Sunday, Hammond added that during the transitional period the UK would be outside the EU’s single market. He stressed that Brexit must “meet the concerns and requirements of both people who want a softer version of Brexit and those who campaigned hard to leave the EU.”
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