Divorce bill focus of Brexit talks on Monday

Katrina Barker
June 17, 2017

- Philip Hammond, Britain's finance minister, says protecting the British economy should be the main goal of upcoming negotiations over the country's exit from the European Union.

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, wants Britain to leave both.

In a joint statement issued, officials said 'David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, and Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday, 19 June'.

In a sign that Britain was sticking to its guns on some of the key points in negotiations with the European Union, the Brexit minister said on Friday no deal could be struck on exiting the European Union unless the future relationship with the bloc was taken into account alongside the withdrawal terms.

Any deal Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party reaches to prop up British Prime Minister Theresa May must not interfere with devolution in the British province, Ireland's new prime minister said on Friday.

"We remain fully committed to making the institutions work", she said. "They can't have it both ways, it has to be dealt with sensibly", she said.

The talks also gave her the opportunity to try to reassure the other parties that a tie-up with the DUP would not compromise Britain's impartiality in the delicate Northern Ireland peace process.

On Brexit, Mrs Foster said the DUP wanted to see "a sensible Brexit and one that works for everybody".

The debate within Britain's government about how to quit the European Union has been blown wide open by an election that left May without a majority in parliament and damaged her authority in the ruling Conservative Party.

"We know each other and we understand each other", she said.

Since the general election, there has been growing pressure on May to moderate the government's approach and favour maintaining close ties with the European single market at the expense of controlling immigration.

The Conservative source said this meant the party was "confident" it had enough votes for the programme to be approved, after May suffered a disastrous setback in snap elections a week ago that saw her lose her majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, just ahead of crucial Brexit negotiations with Brussels.

Davis plans to go to Brussels on Monday to start the negotiations, which will reshape not only Britain's role in the world, but also that of a bloc praised for ensuring peace after World War Two.

With only three days to go before Brexit negotiations kick off, the United Kingdom has refused to clarify what sort of relationship it will seek with the European Union.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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