Friday, September 1, 2017

The cost of leaving the European Union : EU warned not to 'blackmail' UK over Brexit bill

Britain will not be blackmailed
Britain will not be blackmailed into agreeing on the cost of leaving the European Union, Britain's International Trade Secretary has said.

Liam Fox urged Brussels to move negotiations on to discuss Britain's future relationship with the bloc.

The third round of Brexit negotiations, focused on settling the terms of Britain's exit from the EU, ended yesterday with a warning from Brussels that more work needed to be done before they moved on to discuss future ties.

European Commission chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said there had been no "decisive progress" on key issues during talks with the UK and trading negotiations were still "quite far" away.

He acknowledged there had been some "fruitful" discussions on the issues surrounding the relationship between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, but struck a pessimistic tone overall.

The British government has been keen to shift talks to a new relationship, seeking to allay business concerns on trade and regulation.

However, Brussels has demanded progress first on central issues.

European Parliament Brexit coordinator Guy Verhofstadt wrote in Britain's Telegraph newspaper that while "it is in the interests of the EU for us to secure a close relationship, ... we must first agree a methodology for the settling of accounts, secure the rights of EU citizens in the UK and have a frank discussion about the Irish border".

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