World Brexit Talks Begin in Brussels as May Urged to Soften Stance

23:26  19 june  2017
23:26  19 june  2017 Source:   Bloomberg

U.K. Said to Accede to EU Demand Brexit Talks Focus on Split

  U.K. Said to Accede to EU Demand Brexit Talks Focus on Split Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has bowed to European Union demands to focus the initial stage of Brexit talks on the terms of the U.K.’s departure rather than trying to arrange a future trade relationship at the same time, according to two EU officials with knowledge of the preparations. The concession sets the tone for negotiations over Britain’s withdrawal from the EU that are set to begin in Brussels on Monday. Almost a year after Britain voted to leave its biggest market, the talks come amid signs the U.K. is softening its approach to the split and adopting a more conciliatory tone.

Brussels has insisted talks on the so-called divorce, taking in issues including the fee the UK will have to pay to sever its ties, must Mrs May ’s weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit .

The cabinet now includes powerful figures urging the prime minister to soften her stance , including Philip Hammond, chancellor of the exchequer, who Talks scheduled to start in Brussels on June 19 are expected to be delayed for a few days while Mrs May tries to put together a Brexit strategy that

Key Brexit Dates© Bloomberg/Bloomberg Key Brexit Dates

(Bloomberg) -- Almost a year since Britons voted to leave the European Union, Brexit talks finally began on Monday amid confusion over what exactly the U.K. government wants from the divorce.

What U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis describes as the “most complicated negotiation of all time” kicked off in Brussels with Prime Minister Theresa May’s government already on the backfoot. An attempt to strengthen her hand by calling an election backfired and she’s run into further domestic strife since, while the 27 other EU members started out with more leverage anyway.

U.K. to Extend Parliament, Build `Broadest Consensus' for Brexit

  U.K. to Extend Parliament, Build `Broadest Consensus' for Brexit Britain’s Parliament will sit for two years instead of the typical one to prepare for the nation’s departure from the European Union in early 2019, indicating the government may be ready to moderate its position in order to get the legislation through. Prime Minister Theresa May’s minority administration is making the rare extension as lawmakers consider which of the thousands of EU rules it will incorporate into British law -- known as the Great Repeal Bill -- as well as overseeing the nation’s domestic agenda, her office said in a statement. The legislation for Brexit will be confirmed next week.

Brussels has insisted talks on the so-called divorce, taking in issues including the fee the UK will have to pay to sever its ties, must Mrs May 's weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit .

LONDON — Britain entered a sixth day of political limbo on Wednesday with Prime Minister Theresa May yet to seal a deal to prop up her minority government and facing calls to soften her stance on Brexit days before negotiations on leaving the EU begin . May ’s team will resume talks with Northern

“We are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone,” Davis said in comments to reporters from the European Commission’s Berlaymont building headquarters. “There is more that unites us than divides us.”

The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, told reporters that the talks “must first tackle the uncertainties posed by Brexit,” as he outlined expectations for the opening round. “I hope that today we can identify priorities and the timetable that would allow me to report to the European Council later this week that we had a constructive opening of negotiations,” he said.

The U.K. electoral debacle has put May’s own position in doubt, fueling a new battle within her Conservative Party over the kind of Brexit the government should seek. Some of her ministers want to refashion her strategy toward protecting trade with Britain’s biggest market rather than continue to aim for her original goal of winning control of immigration and law-making.

UK sees 'happy' Brexit outcome for both sides: Boris Johnson

  UK sees 'happy' Brexit outcome for both sides: Boris Johnson Britain starts formal talks to leave the EU on Monday, seeking a deal "like no other in history" despite entering fiendishly difficult negotiations with a badly weakened government"I think the whole process will lead to a happy resolution which can be done with honour and profit to both sides," Johnson said as he went into an EU foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

May confirms Brexit talks will begin next week after meeting Macron. Mrs May 's weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit .

Brexit Secretary David Davis has confirmed Brexit talks will start next week. After talks in Brussels today, officials from Britain and Mrs May 's weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit .

David Davis, U.K. exiting the European Union (EU) secretary, left, and Michel Barnier, chief negotiator for the European Union (EU), shake hands ahead of the start of Brexit negotiations in Brussels, Belgium, on Monday, June 19, 2017. Almost a year since Britons voted to leave the European Union, Brexit talks finally open on Monday amid confusion over just what the U.K. government wants from the divorce.: 1497868646_Brexit-talks© Bloomberg/Bloomberg 1497868646_Brexit-talks Strong Enough

May has yet to change tack formally and doing so would risk infuriating euroskeptics in her Tory party who might still prove strong enough to scupper a deal or to topple her as leader if they believe she’s backsliding.

“The election result increased the probability of extreme outcomes,” said Phillip Souta, head of U.K. public policy at Clifford Chance LLP. “If there is going to be a deal, it makes it more likely to be softer than before the election, but on the other hand the probability of no deal at all has increased.”

The negotiations start against the backdrop of a mounting domestic crisis in the U.K. May’s weakened post-election standing deteriorated further last week after she was slammed for misjudging the national mood following a deadly tower block inferno in West London. The public mood has also been shaken by a wave of terror attacks in recent weeks, the latest of which involved a van that rammed pedestrians near a mosque in North London early on Monday morning, killing one and injuring ten.

Swiss call time out in push on EU ties as Brexit talks begin

  Swiss call time out in push on EU ties as Brexit talks begin <p>Switzerland's drive to clinch a sweeping treaty putting its ties with the European Union on firmer footing has run aground as mainstream conservative parties get cold feet ahead of Britain's divorce talks with the EU.</p>A new treaty could clear the way for closer ties in fields including financial services and power markets, but fear that any deal might upset Swiss voters under the country's system of direct democracy has put the project on hold.

EXCLUSIVE – THERESA MAY has been urged to demand Brexit talks are hosted in ‘neutral’ Switzerland rather than "hostile Brussels . Ruth Davidson rules out becoming the next leader of the Tories. 'Won't massively impact approach' EU won't change Brexit stance after vote says strategist.

Brazen EU orders Theresa May to PAY Brussels if Prime Minister wants a ‘ softer Brexit ’. PM's Brexit minister Steve Baker SLAPS DOWN Cameron as he says May will NOT soften Brexit . When do Brexit negotiations start? When will Theresa May begin her Brexit talks ?

In Brussels, Davis and Barnier meet with the U.K. keen to win back sovereignty without hurting its economy, while the EU’s aim is to maintain regional stability and stop inadvertently rewarding Britain’s decision to leave for fear of encouraging others to break away. Barnier plans to hold face-to-face meetings every four weeks and he and Davis will hold a press conference after Monday’s discussions.

‘New Partnership’

“The most important thing now is for us to look to the horizon, raise our eyes to the horizon, think about the future, think about the new partnership, the deep and special partnership that we want to build with our friends,” Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson told reporters in Luxembourg on Monday before a meeting of his EU counterparts. “In the long run, this would be good for the U.K. and good for the rest of Europe.”

How the negotiations progress will be monitored closely by investors and business leaders. Banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. say they will shift jobs from London to the EU if they fear their access to the bloc is jeopardized, while manufacturers in the U.K. such as carmaker Nissan Motor Co. warn against trade being hurt. The pound has fallen about 14 percent against the dollar since the June 23 referendum, pushing up inflation even as the economy shows signs of slowing.

Germany Sees U.K. Nationals Dash for Citizenship as Brexit Looms

  Germany Sees U.K. Nationals Dash for Citizenship as Brexit Looms A record number of Britons took German citizenship in 2016 as the U.K. voted to leave the European Union, according to the German Federal Statistics Office. German authorities granted citizenship to 2,865 U.K. nationals last year, compared with about 600 in 2015, the agency said in a statement Tuesday. Only 3.9 percent of Britons who have lived in Germany for 10 years or longer have taken on local citizenship, according to the data, suggesting that further increases may lie ahead as the U.K. exits the EU.

Brussels has insisted talks on the so-called divorce, taking in issues including the fee the UK will have to pay to sever its ties, must Mrs May ’s weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit .

Brussels has insisted talks on the so-called divorce, taking in issues including the fee the UK will have to pay to sever its ties, must Mrs May ’s weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit .

Up for debate in London now is whether to safeguard trade, perhaps by staying in the bloc’s tariff-free customs union temporarily or trying to win concessions on commerce by giving ground on immigration or the power of the European Court of Justice. Such conversations mark a shift from the pre-election talk of a “hard Brexit” and May’s onetime warning she would walk away from the talks if disappointed.

Without a majority for her Conservatives in the U.K. Parliament, May now says she will work to reflect the wide range of views on Europe that exist in Britain, a signal her Brexit policies could soften.

U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond said on Sunday he wanted a “jobs first” Brexit -- a hint that he believes economic concerns should be prioritized over the political demand to cut immigration from the EU. Freedom of labor movement is a tenet of EU membership and May initially interpreted the referendum result as a demand to stop that.

As the for EU side, it is expecting to have the final say on what Brexit entails no matter what the U.K. seeks. While denying they want to punish their neighbor, EU officials have warned Britain off trying to “cherry pick” the benefits of membership and said it will be left worse off outside the bloc than inside.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said her priority was that the EU27 maintain their unity, while listening “very carefully” to the U.K.’s wishes and proposals.

“I think it’s premature to speculate about the outcome on the first day of talks,” she told reporters in Berlin. “I would like us to strike a good deal that is in both sides’ interests, but we 27 will frame our interests very clearly and jointly.”

Failure to strike a deal before Britain automatically leaves the bloc on March 29, 2019, risks inflicting sweeping tariffs and uncertainty on both economies. Business leaders have already warned against such a “cliff edge” scenario and are eager to see a transitional period to give them time to adjust after the split.

(Updates with comment from Chancellor Merkel in 16th paragraph.)

--With assistance from Richard Bravo Nikos Chrysoloras John Fraher and Birgit Jennen

To contact the reporters on this story: Ian Wishart in Brussels at iwishart@bloomberg.net, Tim Ross in London at tross54@bloomberg.net, Simon Kennedy in London at skennedy4@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Crawford at acrawford6@bloomberg.net, Simon Kennedy at skennedy4@bloomberg.net, Richard Bravo

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

UK to double length of next Parliament to deal with Brexit .
The British government plans to have the next Parliament hold a two-year session to deal with the expected onslaught of Brexit-related legislation. Parliament normally sits for one year, but officials said late Saturday night more time will be needed.House of Common leader Andrea Leadsom said Parliament will need "the maximum amount of time to scrutinize these bills" by holding a two-year session.The legislation is expected to include the Great Repeal Bill to convert existing European Union law into United Kingdom statutes.

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