David Davis urges both sides to 'get down to business' as second Brexit negotiating round begins

Posted On: 
17th July 2017

David Davis will travel to Brussels today for the latest round of Brexit talks with a call for both the UK and EU negotiating teams to "get down to business".

David Davis and Michel Barnier at a joint press conference last month
Credit: 
PA

The Brexit Secretary will meet the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier for the latest set of negotiations, with the issue of citizens' rights top of the agenda. 

The UK has already made an offer EU nationals living in the UK to have "settled status" once they have built up five years' residence in the country.

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However there is uncertainty over how any arrangement would be enforced, with the British government repeatedly saying it will not accept the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice after Brexit. 

The offer was met by a distinctly frostly response from top EU officials, with European Council president Donald Tusk saying it was "below our expectations and risks worsening the situation for our citizens".

Ahead of today's talks, Mr Davis sounded an optimistic note, saying: “We made a good start last month, and this week we’ll be getting into the real substance.

"Protecting the rights of all our citizens is the priority for me going into this round and I'm clear that it's something we must make real progress on.”

The EU has made clear that the issues of citizens' rights, the UK's 'divorce payment' from the EU and the border in Northern Ireland must all be resolved before discussions can begin on a future trade deal.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson suggested last week the EU could "go whistle" if it wanted to extract a heavy financial settlement from the Government.