Germany: no punishment for UK, but EU exit good for no one

Jay Anderson
June 19, 2017

Britain's Brexit minister David Davis said the country wanted to strike "a deal like no other in history" as formal talks on quitting the European Union were set to begin in Brussels on Monday.

With Britain's negotiations on the terms of its departure from the European Union set to begin on Monday, the country risks skills shortages and losing business if it ends freedom of movement without a new plan for attracting workers, the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said.

Almost a year to the day since Britons voted on the 23 June referendum to leave its main trading partner, and nearly three months since Prime Minister Theresa May set off a two-year countdown to Brexit in March 2019, May's entire approach has been called into question after a disastrous election performance on 8 June.

Those issues are Britain's exit bill, estimated by Brussels at around 100 billion euros ($112 billion), the rights of three million European Union nationals living in Britain and one million Britons on the continent, and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

EU Commission negotiator Michel Barnier.

Talks will begin at 0900 GMT with a joint press conference by former French foreign minister and European commissioner Barnier and Davis at around 1630 GMT.

Anxious by mass immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain past year voted to end its decades-old membership of the 28-nation bloc in a shock referendum result.

While the European Union negotiating team led by Michel Barnier has been ready for months, Britain stalled even after it triggered the two-year process on March 29.

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The agenda for the meeting was agreed earlier this month following preparatory "talks about talks".

Mr Hammond said he would not agree to a deal that would "destroy" Britain.

"The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust", another European source said.

I want to reiterate at the outset of these talks that the United Kingdom will remain a committed partner and ally of our friends across the continent.

Yet 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.

Her pro-EU party won 12 seats at the shock General Election which saw no party with a clear majority and the Conservatives the largest party overall.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has said that the vote one year ago was partly a vote for Britain to control its borders, and has said that Britain will leave Europe's single market, as membership is incompatible with restricting immigration.

"It's a statement of common sense that if we are going to radically change the way we work together, we need to get there via a slope, not a cliff edge".

Other reports by BadHub

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