Brexit talks ‘to focus on withdrawal first’

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EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier (left) along with UK Brexit Secretary David Davis confirmed the start of talks

Formal Brexit negotiations will first focus on issues to do with the UK’s withdrawal by the EU, as part of a sequenced approach to talks, the European Commission has said.

The BBC has been told by EU sources in which the talks will follow the EU’s preferred pattern of exit negotiations first, with the future relations between the two sides at a later date.

The UK’s Department for Exiting the EU said the item still held the view in which both withdrawal along with future relations should be agreed at the same time.

Brexit negotiations are due to start on Monday in Brussels, nevertheless in which will be the only day of talks next week.

The talks are set to continue every month throughout the summer.

The European Commission said “separation issues”, such as citizens’ rights along with the UK’s financial obligations, might be discussed first as part of its sequenced approach to talks.

in which’s what the EU always insisted on, the BBC’s Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas reports.

EU sources have told the BBC they believed the UK had understood in which.

The sources said the EU hoped to move on to discussing a trade deal in October, if enough progress has been made.

Monday’s talks between Brexit Secretary David Davis along with EU negotiator Michel Barnier follow preliminary negotiations in Brussels between officials.

In a statement the European 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 along with additional separation issues, as part of the sequenced approach to the talks.

“Both sides will also discuss the structure of the negotiations along with the issues in which need to be addressed over the coming months.”

A spokesman for Mr Davis’s Brexit department said: “We have been crystal clear about our approach to these negotiations.

“As we set out inside the Article 50 letter, our view can be in which withdrawal agreement along with terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each additional. We are clear in which can be what can be set out in Article 50.

“We believe in which the withdrawal process cannot be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account.

“As the EU has itself said, ‘nothing can be agreed, until everything can be agreed’.”

‘First aim’

The spokesman added in which although some issues might be given early priority “the withdrawal along with future are intimately linked”.

“In particular, we want to move ahead on securing the rights of EU citizens inside the UK along with UK citizens living inside the EU. We want to end the anxiety facing four million citizens.

“in which has always been our first aim along with in which can be what we will do.”

David Davis has said the UK will pay what was legally due, in line with its rights along with obligations, nevertheless “not just what the EU wants”, following reports the “divorce bill” could be 100bn euros (£87bn).

Mr Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, has said there was no desire to punish the UK nevertheless “its accounts must be settled”.

“There can be no Brexit bill. The final settlement can be all about settling the accounts,” he said last month.

‘Viable option’

In Prime Minister Theresa May’s letter triggering Article 50, she states: “We believe the item’s necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal by the EU.’

nevertheless European Council president Donald Tusk along with additional senior EU officials have consistently ruled out parallel talks.

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Labour’s Sir Keir Starmer can be seeking meetings with Brexit civil servants

Labour’s Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has written to David Davis urging him to “reset” the government’s “belligerent along with reckless” approach to leaving the EU.

inside the letter, obtained by the Financial Times, Sir Keir warned in which Theresa May’s “inflexible” stance “makes a not bad deal for Britain less likely, not more likely”.

He urged ministers to make jobs along with the economy their priority in negotiations, echoing comments earlier by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Sir Keir said the government should currently drop their claim in which “no deal can be better than a bad deal” on Brexit, saying the item had “never been a viable option”.

“To threaten to jump off a cliff rather than to be pushed can be not a viable negotiating strategy,” he said.

Labour can be seeking regular meetings with the most senior civil servant at the Department for Exiting the EU, saying the item needs to be ready to take over negotiations at any stage if Mrs May’s government falls.

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