Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Second round of Brexit talks

Second round of Brexit talks

The pound fell from a 10-month high against the dollar on concern that discord within the United Kingdom government is worsening before the nation starts the second round of Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

"We need to examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress", he said.

At the start of the Brussels talks, Mr Davis - whose allies claim 30 Tory MPs are ready to back him if he runs for the leadership - is expected to call for both sides to get down to business.

He said he came under attack at the weekend from hard line Brexiteers "who are not happy with (my) agenda" after a series of cabinet leaks meant to undermine him.

Asked why colleagues are "going for you", he pointed to disputes over Brexit, saying: "Some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda that I have". "Over the last few weeks, I've tried to advance ensuring that we achieve a Brexit that is focused on protecting our economy, protecting our jobs and making sure that we can have continued rising standards in the future". Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond exposed tensions within the British cabinet at the weekend by stating that transitional arrangements at the end of talks are likely to last a couple of years, far longer than the couple of months suggested by Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

The prime minister had made similar pronouncements before, but the statement to MPs and peers carried weight in Brussels.

While we know the issue of the Irish border is high on the agenda for these discussions, the weeks since the last round of talks have seen a number of public clashes between United Kingdom and European Union leaders which are sure to be mentioned this week.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was also in Brussels, emphasized the British offer on citizens' rights, calling it "very fair" and "serious". These two key players will meet regularly through the week, with the aim of keeping the talks on track.

More than a year after the Brexit referendum, some still argue that it would be in Britain's interests to remain in the European Union, and retain the benefits of free movement of people, capital, goods and services.

He is expected to say: "This week we'll be getting into the real substance. the rights of all our citizens is the priority".

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