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

Cheryl Sanders
June 19, 2017

"No deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain, but there is a possible worse outcome and that is a deal that is deliberately structured to suck the lifeblood out of our economy over a period of time".

Technical talks between European Union and British officials on how the negotiations should be conducted already began last week.

A source in May's Conservative Party said talks continued on Friday.

A second phase of talks on future trade relations will follow only after they are satisfied that sufficient progress has been made on these issues.

The British Brexit minister, David Davis, will open the talks with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, supported by officials on both sides.

He added that he was approaching the negotiations in a "constructive way", given the fact that they will be "difficult at points".

A DExEU spokesman said: "As we set out in the Article 50 letter, our view is that withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other".

United States stocks closed marginally higher on Friday, following news that e-commerce giant Amazon is set to buy Whole Foods for almost $14 billion, with the move pressuring retailers.

For that reason, Brussels wants as a priority to guarantee rights for 3 million European Union citizens in Britain and be paid tens of billions of euros it says London will owe on its departure. "The withdrawal and future are intimately linked".

Speaking ahead of a meeting with other European Union leaders in Brussels on Friday, Mr Hammond said: "We've set out very clearly our desired outcome in the Prime Minister's Lancaster House speech and in the Article 50 letter that we've sent".

"Our big problem is that we have no picture, no idea at all what the British want", said German Manfred Weber, the head of the EPP Christian Democrat group in the European Parliament. They should finally tell us what the aim is.

Anxious by immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain past year voted to end its decades-old membership of the 28-country bloc - the first state ever to do so - in a shock referendum result. But as you say, the vision of Brexit that Theresa May presented to the electorate has been more or less rejected by the public. "The final settlement is all about settling the accounts", he said last month.

But that entire approach has come under question following a general election earlier this month in which Prime Minister Theresa May lost her Conservative party's parliamentary majority.

They will hold more than seven hours of official talks. But the government will double the length of the session to let lawmakers debate Britain's approach to Brexit without interruption.

Many in Brussels fear that London has no real strategy, with May under pressure at home, still trying to close a deal with a conservative Northern Ireland party to stay in power, and facing criticism for her handling of the aftermath of a devastating tower block fire.

Mr Davis is said to be working closely with Chancellor Philip Hammond, who is pressing for long transition times to protect the economy from a Brexit shock.

Still, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remained upbeat Monday and thinks that the Brexit negotiations will yield "a happy resolution that can be done with profit and honor for both sides".

Talks with the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will focus on the status of expats, the UK's "divorce bill" and the Northern Ireland border.

The EU has pressed for openness and a press conference is expected at the end of the first day.

Allies of the Chancellor said he will admit the Government has given too little emphasis so far to the needs of business, including the UK's £71 billion financial sector.

Other reports by iNewsToday