Brexit: Davis urges negotiators to “get down to business”17/07/17Government
The UK’s Brexit Secretary David Davis has called on both sides in the negotiations on the UK’s departure from the EU to “get down to business”.
Davis is currently in Brussels, Belgium, for a second round of formal talks on Brexit.
He said his priority was to “lift the uncertainty” for EU citizens living in the UK and Britons living in the EU.
The EU says there must be substantial progress on this – as well as on a financial settlement and the issue of the Irish border – before trade talks can begin.
Davis said: “We made a good start last month, and this week we’ll be getting into the real substance.
“Protecting the rights of all our citizens is the priority for me going into this round and I’m clear that it’s something we must make real progress on.”
Earlier this month, UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s offer to give the three million EU citizens in the UK “settled status” after Brexit was dismissed by European Council President Donald Tusk as “below our expectations”.
Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator, has also said there are still major differences between the EU and UK on the rights of EU citizens living in Britain.
Barnier has said that citizen rights – along with the “divorce payment” and border issues – must be dealt with before future UK-EU trade could be discussed.
The financial payment the EU says will be owed to cover the UK’s commitments. Estimates have put the amount at anywhere from €60-100bn.
UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said that Brussels could “go whistle” if it expected the UK to pay a hefty “divorce bill”.
Talks are expected to continue to on 20 July.