Brexit minister Davis: 'No doubt' over Britain leaving EU

Isaac Cain
June 19, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May began talks yesterday to form an alliance with Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to cling to power after her election fiasco, leaving the EU's Brexit negotiator wondering when divorce talks will begin.

'As I head to Brussels to open official talks to leave the EU, there should be no doubt - we are leaving the European Union, ' said Davis, who will launch the talks with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier.

The Brexit Secretary is expected to say: "Today marks the start of negotiations that will shape the future of the European Union and the United Kingdom, and the lives of our citizens".

Brexit Minister David Davis.

Following more than an hour of talks between May and DUP leader Arlene Foster on Tuesday, May said the discussion had been productive and Foster said she hoped a deal could be reached "sooner rather than later".

The Frenchman has been given a mandate by the leaders of the remaining EU27 states to focus initially on the key elements of the withdrawal package - a multi-billion euro "divorce bill", rights for European Union citizens and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

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".

"We want to see a Brexit that works for everybody, not just for Northern Ireland", she said.

Concerns have been raised that the Government will compromise its impartiality in the region if it enters a confidence and supply deal with the DUP at Westminster.

After nearly a year of waffling, Britain on Monday finally opens negotiations with its European Union counterparts about leaving the bloc, with the final outcome, due in 2019, as important as it now seems unpredictable.

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Meanwhile, her government plans to have the next Parliament hold a two-year session to deal with the expected onslaught of Brexit-related legislation.

May's foreign secretary Boris Johnson has insisted previously that such an outcome would be "perfectly ok".

But we have also indicated that in such case we will not compromise and the European Union will never compromise on a number of conditions.

Other members of May's Conservatives have called for a more inclusive approach on Brexit strategy that would include the voices of opposition parties as well as the views of Scotland and Northern Ireland, which both voted to stay in the EU.

May reportedly faces "civil war" inside her Cabinet, over whether she should continue with her hardline position on Brexit.

Britain now gets a multi-billion-euro rebate on its budget payments to the European Union, and has opt-outs on a range of issues from joining the single currency to the Schengen passport-free area.

In a scathing attack on May's failed election campaign, Hammond also told the Andrew Marr Show that he had been prevented from selling the government's record on the economy.

"But this is not the one we prefer", Moscovici said, adding that Brussels sought close relation with London in all fields.

The government also said the extra legislative time was needed to pass its domestic agenda. I think they are ready with it, but whether they are politically ready to do it I don't know.

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