EU Negotiator Barnier Says UK PM May Expresses "Constructive Spirit"

Frederick Owens
September 25, 2017

After six months of stalemate and failed negotiations over Brexit between Brussels and London, British Prime Minister Theresa May has unveiled her plans for what she called a smooth and orderly exit from the bloc.

She proposed a two-year transition period for the United Kingdom after its leaves the EU.

Britain has argued that it will owe very little on leaving, countering European Union demands that it go on paying for many years after Brexit to cover much longer-term commitments previously made.

The warning will pile pressure on Brexit secretary David Davis and his European Union counterpart, Michel Barnier, who resume formal Brexit negotiations this week.

Ravens also jokes: "I'm told some of the artefacts in the Uffizi gallery are nearly as ancient as Jacob Rees‐Mogg's world view", while apologising to Boris Johnson for not making this her resignation speech.

Outside the venue, about 100 people took part in an anti-Brexit protest staged by British expatriates in Italy to support European Union citizens' rights after Brexit.

The Times, citing two people in Brussels it didn't identify, said May agreed to pay £40 billion: about £20 billion from March 2019 through year-end 2020 and "other liabilities" of £20 billion "negotiated separately and paid over many years".

Here are five main takeaways of her speech.

May ruled out Britain using either a Canadian-style free trade deal with the EU after Brexit or a Norwegian-style agreement to join the European Economic Area while accepting unrestricted freedom of movement.

"We are now a year into a negotiation here, but there is still a lot of nitty gritty that needs to be sorted out", he told Al Jazeera.

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May also said that European citizens working in Britain will be subject to a registration system during a two-year transition period as Britain withdraws from the EU.

Britain will continue to pay into the European Union for years after Brexit, May indicated.

"And we will do all this as a sovereign nation in which the British people are in control".

She hoped this offer, made in a speech in Italy, would unblock Brexit talks. Another official said it had left him "even more concerned".

Divisions have also emerged within May's government.

Meanwhile, allies of Mr Johnson are quoted in other reports as saying the Foreign Secretary thwarted Philip Hammond's wish for a five-year transition, something furiously denied by those close to the Chancellor.

He added: "A strong Britain working hand in hand with a strong Europe - but once again free to take our own decisions".

"The real test will be the negotiations with the EU", Gentiloni said on Twitter.

"From our side, I repeat once again that an agreement is the best outcome".

'It's clear that we're out, ' one senior Conservative source said, adding that he was pleased to hear May agree that no deal was better than a bad deal.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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