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David Davis tells EU to be more 'flexible' ahead of Brexit negotiations

2 min read

The UK Government has urged the European Union to be more “imaginative” and “flexible”, ahead of the next round of Brexit negotiations which get underway tomorrow. 

David Davis and Michel Barnier will meet in Brussels tomorrow to kickstart the talks before officials continue talks which are likely to focus on “technical detail”, according to the British side.

The meeting is the first since the Government published a number of position papers setting out its plans for a number of areas affected by Brexit.

A government source urged the EU to compromise to resolve problems that have been identified in the first two sets of talks, which focused on the Irish border, citizens’ rights and the so-called “divorce bill”.

The source added that more “substantial” discussions would have to wait for September and downplayed the prospect of a major breakthrough.  

“This round of negotiations will focus on thrashing out the technical detail on important matters related to us leaving the EU, and will act as a stepping stone to more substantial talks in September,” they said.

“The UK has been working diligently to inform the negotiations in the past weeks, and has published papers making clear our position on a wide range of issues from how we protect the safe flow of personal data, to the circumstances around Ireland and Northern Ireland. 

“Now, both sides must be flexible and willing to compromise when it comes to solving areas where we disagree.

“As the EU itself has said, the clock is ticking so neither side should drag its feet.”

The EU has insisted that talks about the UK’s future relationship with the bloc cannot begin until “sufficient progress” has been made on Ireland, rights and money.

But the UK has called on its EU counterparts to allow parallel discussions to take place on the terms of transition arrangements to avoid a “cliff-edge” scenario in March 2019, and the shape of a potential future trade deal. 

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