Posted on Aug 27, 2017
As all sides prepare for negotiations to recommence tomorrow (Aug 28th), Britain is to urge the EU team to show “imagination” in Brexit talks, and to shift the focus on future ties rather than obsessing over a divorce settlement.
Brexit minister David Davis will call on the EU to be more flexible in its approach at the start of negotiations with the bloc’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, in a round of talks which are likely to be largely technical, Reuters reports today.
A government source said Britain would point to the papers it has published over the past two weeks on both the future relationship and the divorce to show how officials have been working “diligently to inform the negotiations”.
“Now, both sides must be flexible and willing to compromise when it comes to solving areas where we disagree,” the source said. “As the EU itself has said, the clock is ticking so neither side should drag its feet.”
Britain has published a range of policy papers on everything from future customs arrangements to data, whereas the EU has insist first on progress in three areas; the rights of expatriates, Britain’s border with Ireland and, of course, a financial settlement.
British officials say they cannot make headway in these areas without first looking at future ties, arguing that what happens at the border with Northern Ireland depends largely on what kind of customs arrangement is agreed with the European Union.
But the EU has so far stuck to its stance that “sufficient progress” must be made in these areas before moving on to any discussion of the future relationship, leading some observers to speculate that it is, in fact, the EU that is deliberately keeping negotiations anchored in the doldrums.
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