Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Brexit negotiations with European Union to begin on Monday: Britain

Brexit negotiations with European Union to begin on Monday: Britain

Britain's Brexit ministry said on Friday that no deal could be struck on exiting unless the future relationship with the bloc was taken into account.

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.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May is in a hard political predicament six days after she lost her parliamentary majority, leaving her seeking a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists.

The British parliament will hold a rare two-year legislative session to tackle the complexities of Britain's departure from the European Union, the government said on Saturday.

May has clung on to power since the election but has so far failed to strike an agreement with Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party that would allow her to govern.

DUP leader Arlene Foster insisted that any deal with the Conservatives would not undermine the province's peace accords.

The fact Davis agreed to an agenda on Monday that will see him and British officials spend some seven hours in the European Union executive's headquarters discussing who will talk to whom when and about what has come as a relief to some European Union negotiators.

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

The government has developed a strategy of "hard Brexit" to cut the numbers of immigrants arriving from the EU at the expense of Britain's membership of the European single market and customs union.

She is also trying to contain outrage at home over a London tower block fire which left at least 30 people dead.

European Union officials played down the importance of Britain's lack of a clear final plan, saying that talks on other issues can go ahead without deciding yet on a new relationship.

If Davis, who launches the formal negotiations with Barnier on Monday, can show British willing on the EU's priority "Phase One" issues, then trade talks could get under way by the turn of the year - a step-by-step timetable Barnier says must be followed to limit the risk of a disruptive "no deal" scenario.

"We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", he said in Luxembourg last week. "We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account".

Hammond was expected to make the case for a so-called "softer" Brexit, which prioritizes economic considerations over limiting immigration. "The withdrawal and future are intimately linked".

Mr Hammond said on Friday: "I can confirm that as we enter negotiations next week, we will do so in a spirit of honest cooperation, taking a pragmatic approach to trying to find a solution that works both for the United Kingdom and for the European Union 27".

But after a generation of discord over Europe inside her party, May's future could depend on her ability to please both the eurosceptic and pro-European factions in her party.

Like this: