UK to hold two-year parliament for Brexit

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

Kicking off formal Brexit negotiations in Brussels on Monday, the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier of France (r.in above photo), and his British counterpart David Davis said both sides sought an orderly British exit from the bloc in order to do away with uncertainty. Brexit negotiations are due to start on Monday in Brussels but that will be the only day of talks next week.

With Britain's negotiations on the terms of its departure from the European Union set to begin on Monday, the country risks skills shortages and losing business if it ends freedom of movement without a new plan for attracting workers, the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said.

But the agreement appeared at odds with British Prime Minister Theresa May's earlier insistence that the divorce and the future relationship should be discussed in parallel. Such firms sold 7.3 billion euros ($8.2 billion) worth of goods to customers in Britain a year ago, their fourth-biggest market.

It certainly is. Davis has said that while the United Kingdom is pulling out of the single market and the customs union and ending the free movement of labour, he wants an agreement that replicates as far as possible Britain's existing trade arrangements with the EU.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood reports.

Davis said he was looking for a "positive and constructive tone" to deal with the myriad issues dividing both sides.

The Brexit Secretary said: "The position hasn't changed".

Five of the UK's leading business organisations are calling for the government to maintain access to the Single Market and Customs Union until a Brexit deal is reached and to prioritise the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

Anxious by immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain voted previous year to end its four-decades-old membership of the 28-country bloc - the first state ever to do so - in a shock referendum result.

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The vote came as a profound shock to Brussels against a backdrop of rising anti-EU sentiment, with many - including now US President Donald Trump - predicting the bloc's eventual break-up.

Sigmar Gabriel also indicated a deal could be done on the jurisdiction of the European Court, allowing Theresa May to fulfil her pledge to end its jurisdiction while also meeting the EU's needs. He's political editor of the Financial Times in London, and he joins us from Millbank Studios.

They will hold more than seven hours of official talks.

A poll published over the weekend shows that a slim majority of Britons now want the chance to vote on the terms of Brexit when the talks are concluded.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised the unity of the remaining 27 European Union countries, which have been alarmed in recent weeks by Prime Minister Theresa May's threats to walk out of the talks.

Asked if that meant no transitional arrangements, she replied: "Well, I'm extremely optimistic that we will find there is a lot we can agree on". "That will be in our mutual interest, but we 27 will formulate our interests very clearly and hopefully together".

Reflecting on Britain's longtime European Union membership, Davis says that "there is more that unites us than divides us" despite the June 23, 2016 referendum in which Britain chose to break away from the 27 other member nations.

But many in Brussels fear that London has no real strategy, with May under pressure at home and still trying to close a deal with a conservative Northern Ireland party to stay in power, and facing criticism for her handling of the aftermath of a devastating tower block fire.

Other reports by GizPress

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