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United Kingdom warns European Union not to 'drag its feet' on Brexit

Reuters reports that Chief Brexit negotiators, the EU's Michel Barnier and Britain's David Davis, will meet at 1500 GMT before more talks on Tuesday and Wednesday convene on technical level on expatriate rights, divorce bill and "other separation issues".

Britain's primary focus has continued to hinge on getting a good deal post Brexit but senior EU Officials have consistently maintained that there should be a complete separation before critical deals can be discussed.

Tories accused Labour of "a weak attempt to kick the can down the road", but Corbyn said government "confusion" had left Davis "in danger of wandering into a cliff-edge Brexit" in the Brussels talks.

In a paper on future customs arrangements published two weeks ago, the UK Government said it was working on contingency plans for a "no deal" scenario.

An EU official told a press briefing on Friday that there was "a very big gap" between "where we are and where we need to be" and there was a "lack of substance" in the negotiations so far. It wants to start talks on certain issues as soon as possible, such as the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

As he opens discussions, the Brexit Secretary is expected to say he wants to agree a deal which is in the best interests of both sides, and expects the four days of talks to be "constructive".

Davis said today this week's talks were all about "driving forward the technical discussions across all the issues".

"We want to lock in the points where we agree, unpick the areas where we disagree, and make further progress on a range of issues".

"In order to do that, we'll require flexibility and imagination from both sides", he said.

The UK has accused the European Union of "overegging demands" on the divorce bill, which also includes a share of European Union pension liabilities and unpaid bills.

The EU has also accused the United Kingdom of "magical thinking" on its solutions to providing a "frictionless" border in Ireland.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said a Labour government would abide by the "same basic terms" of the UK's current membership during the transition period, which could last four or five years beyond March 2019.

His Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) has in the last week published a slew of papers setting out Britain's vision for a "deep and special" future partnership, dealing with issues ranging from the role of the European Court of Justice to customs arrangements and data protection.

But Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn faced warnings of a backlash from the Labour Leave movement, which noted that seven out of 10 of the party's constituencies voted for Brexit, adding: "Single market membership is European Union membership in all but name".

Brexit Negotiators will be hoping to make progress as they enter a third round of negotiations in Brussels on Monday.



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