Second round of Brexit talks

Vincent Carr
July 17, 2017

Mr Davis said: "We are now getting into the substance of the matter".

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.

"We need to examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress". Asked point blank on Monday if the cabinet was "split on Brexit", Johnson simply said he was pleased negotiations had begun and then defended the offer May has made to protect the rights of European Union citizens in Britain.

One unnamed Cabinet minister was reported to have hit back, claiming Mr Hammond was part of an attempt by "the Establishment" to prevent Britain ever leaving the EU.

Twice in as many days, newspapers ran hostile stories about Hammond from last week's cabinet meeting, leaked by other ministers at the table.

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.

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Comments from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that the European Union could go whistle if it thought the United Kingdom would pay a large bill to leave the European Union bloc were also met with scorn in Brussels.

Discussions on the politically charged issue of the Irish border issue will be led by Sabine Weyand, Barnier's deputy, and Olly Robbins, permanent secretary of the department for exiting the EU.

Fox also said it would be "foolish" to go into the Brexit negotiations without being prepared to walk away, saying Britain's negotiating partners needed to believe Britain would do so rather than accept a bad deal.

"The plenary meetings [of the Brexit talks] will show us whether there is a realistic basis for agreement or whether the British government can not move at all because of its own problems", said Elmar Brok, a German centre-right MEP who helps coordinate the European parliament's position on Brexit.

Mr Barnier, who has made clear that he is not prepared to start talks on a trade deal until there has been sufficient progress on the financial settlement, retorted icily he could not hear any whistling, "just the clock ticking".

Other reports by BadHub

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