UK's Davis Resumes Brexit Talks as Cabinet Splits Turn Ugly

Frederick Owens
July 17, 2017

After a June snap election in which May's Conservatives lost their majority, her cabinet appears bitterly divided over the type of outcome it wants from the Brexit talks.

May's decision to activate the EU's exit clause three months ago means that the United Kingdom will leave the bloc with or without a deal in March 2019.

'We need to examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress'.

These talks focus on Britain's arrangements to leave the EU. Whitehall sources say he will set out citizens' rights as his personal priority for the round, with a new push to lift uncertainty for the three million European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and one million Brits living in the EU.

United Kingdom finance minister Philip Hammond said Sunday that Britain will take responsibility for the money it owes, but dismissed the 100 billion euro figure as "ridiculous".

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling attempted to play down suggestions of Cabinet splits over Brexit and criticised those who have been briefing about its meetings.

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These ranged from claiming that public sector workers were "overpaid" to saying that driving a train was so easy "even a woman" could do it. UK's negotiating chief is expected to return to Brussels to wrap up the second round of talks and assess this negotiating week alongside Barnier at the Berlaymont press room.

If you want my opinion, some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda which I, over the last few weeks, have tried to advance of ensuring that we achieve a Brexit which is focused on protecting our economy, protecting our jobs, and making sure that we have continued rising living standards in the future, he said in a TV interview.

The prime minister had made similar pronouncements before, but the statement to MPs and peers carried weight in Brussels.

This week's talks are also set to address more detailed concerns such as Britain's future in Euratom, the EU's nuclear safety agency, and the role of the European Court of Justice, the EU's top court. The U.K.'s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said last week that the European Union could go whistle if it thought that the U.K. would pay a large sum.

'For us it is incredibly important we now make good progress, ' he said.

On Sunday, the former Tory chair Chris Patten warned that the Brexit deadlock represented one of the bleakest moments in British postwar history.

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