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Brexit: divorce talks begin

Almost one year post referendum, the UK Government has begun the eagerly awaited Brexit talks with the EU. Within the first two days, David Davis has…

Almost one year post referendum, the UK Government has begun the eagerly awaited Brexit talks with the EU. Within the first two days, David Davis has agreed to deal with the “divorce” talks up front, irrespective of his longstanding position that discussions about exit and the new relationship would be conducted in parallel. So what does this mean? The talks will not be focusing on trade deals until agreement is reached on the UK’s actual separation.

Defending his position, David Davis said “It’s not how it starts; it’s how it finishes that matters … nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”.

The Chief EU negotiator, Michel Barnier, has made the EU’s position clear, in his forthright comment “The UK has asked to leave the EU, not the other way around, so we each have to assume the consequences of our decisions and the consequences are substantial”.

Theresa May is expected to visit Brussels today, Thursday, with the first offer to guarantee the rights of EU citizens in Britain. Meanwhile, the Queen’s Speech, delivered today in Westminster, revealed eight separate Bills related to the UK’s departure from Europe, most notably the Repeal Bill that has survived the parliamentary recess and remains firmly at the top of the list.