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Brexit Latest: UK warned over speed of negotiations

Brexit Latest: UK warned over speed of negotiations

Britain says the two strands should be negotiated in parallel, arguing that progress on a free trade deal may even help resolve other sticky issues such as the future EU-UK border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. "We'll see where we get to on Thursday, but we believe we're in a good position, and would like to move on to discuss our future relationship".

Britain has published 11 position papers in total, including four last week, before more than 100 British negotiators travelled to Brussels for the current round of talks.

"We must start negotiating seriously; we need United Kingdom papers that are clear in order to have constructive negotiations", Barnier told reporters as he stood alongside Davis before their meeting on Monday.

Mr Barnier insists progress must be made on key aspects of the withdrawal deal - including the UK's "divorce bill", citizens' rights and the Irish border - before there is any talk of future arrangements for crucial issues such as trade.

Meanwhile, David Davis, the UK's Brexit secretary defended his government's papers as "products of hard work and detailed thinking", adding that progress required imagination and flexibility from both sides.

For his part, Davis suggested that the European Union was sticking to a rigid position and called on "flexibility and imagination from both sides".

Immigration control was one of the key reasons many Britons cited as the reason for voting to leave the European Union in last year's national referendum.

David Davies dismissed criticism, calling on Brussels to show "flexibility and imagination" in the negotiations, insisting that "technical discussions" must move forward on a range of issues.

Mr Davis and Mr Barnier met on Monday at the start of the latest round of talks which highlighted differences between Brussels and Whitehall over the negotiating papers produced by the UK.

The bloc says that is impossible until there has been "sufficient progress" in agreeing terms of the divorce, including how much Britain must pay to settle its existing commitments to the EU.

Last week, Guy Verhofstadt, one of the EU's Brexit negotiators, described aspects of the UK's trading plan as "fantasy".

"I would like us to conduct ourselves in such a fashion so that Turkey realizes that they are the ones - Mr Erdogan - who is making the negotiations impossible, rather than falling into a situation whereby we would divest ourselves of our responsibilities", Juncker said.

He emphasised that the EU 27 and the European Parliament "will not accept that separation issues are not addressed properly".

Nicolas Hatton, the co-founder of the3million, said: "We talked to some of the European Union citizens who received these letters and getting them was a terrifying experience for them".

Shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer said he wanted Britain to stay in the EU's single market for an extended period.

They added that the policy documents issued over the last two weeks on future customs arrangements, Northern Ireland and judicial co-operation were created to illustrate how intertwined all the Brexit issues are.



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