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British government to outline aims in Brexit talks

13 August 2017, 02:59 | Darnell Patrick

Guess who’s back back again

David Miliband is back and he wants a second EU referendum

The government will this week publish the first of three discussion papers ahead of the next round of negotiations, scheduled to start August 28 in Brussels, Brexit secretary David Davis's office said on Sunday.

"We've been crystal clear that issues around our withdrawal and our future partnership are inextricably linked, and the negotiations so far have reinforced that view", a source in Britain's Brexit department said.

LONDON, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Britain needs a transition period to soften its exit from the European Union, but it can not be used to stop Brexit, two senior ministers said on Sunday, signalling a truce between rival factions in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet.

"These papers show we are ready to broaden out the negotiations", the source said.

The EU is refusing to negotiate the bloc's post-exit relationship with Britain until sufficient progress has been made on three issues: how much the United Kingdom has to pay to settle its tab; the Irish border situation; and the status of EU nationals living in Britain.

In July, EU officials said progress was hard not because Britain had unacceptable demands, but because it had no position at all on many issues. The Brexit department declined to comment on the story.

It added that businesses should be assured there would be no "cliff edge" despite fears expressed that the UK could crash out of the EU without reaching a deal, which would see UK-EU relations revert to World Trade Organisation rules.

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The report, which cited an unnamed source in the Brexit department, said that Irish citizens would be able to work freely in the United Kingdom, and British citizens would work freely in Ireland.

Also, details of future arrangements including Britain's proposals for a customs agreement with the EU will be released prior to a meeting of the European Council in Brussels in October.

Separate papers would also address "Continuity in the availability of goods for the European Union and the UK" and "Confidentiality and access to official documents", the Brexit department said. The first will be a proposal for new customs arrangements.

But in a joint article for The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, they agreed there should not be a "cliff-edge" when Britain leaves in March 2019.

Meanwhile, former Labour Foreign Secretary David Miliband has called for politicians on all sides to unite to fight back against the "worst consequences" of Brexit.

His criticism joins that of a growing number of pro-EU figures from across the political spectrum who say Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit strategy is economically damaging and that voters should be given a chance to halt the process.



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