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Brexit Negotiations Begin Amid Feuds in London - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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London – Britain and European Union (EU) began on Monday a round of negotiations on Britain’s divorce from the EU which they have less than two years to complete. This is the second one following a preliminary round where the two parties determined dates for the meetings and prioritized the issues to be discussed.

Both teams would brief the media on Thursday after they have spent four days tackling a range of priority issues.

Monday’s sessions focused on three priorities are commonly referred to as citizens’ rights, financial settlement, and borders with Ireland.

European Commission’s Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier hoped a common ground will be achieved that will lead to the desired goals of both parties. While UK Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union David Davis acknowledged it was incredibly important to make progress and identify the differences so that all parties can deal with them and identify the similarities so they can reinforce them.

In UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused EU of proposing “extortionate” Brexit bill demands.

Finance minister Philip Hammond described the new about the sum of money UK owes to EU as “ridiculous.”

He did, however, say on Sunday that Britain will take responsibility for the money it owes the EU after leaving the bloc, as he acknowledged the cabinet was split over Brexit.

“We are a country that always honors its obligations. If there is any amount that is due when it’s been properly quantified and audited, of course, we’ll deal with it,” he told the BBC.

On July 12, EU’s chief Brexit negotiator says settling the bill is of major importance as a basis for future discussions on trade, security, and defense.

Knowing that the Brexit charges were estimated to be €60 billion as mentioned by European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker, reported the Financial Times in May.

Last week, a report was issued in the UK saying it is crucial to determine the basis of fair negotiations to determine rights and duties of Britain. Europeans, on the other hand, confirm they have finalized their primary preparations since last May and are eager to know the British road map which had been altered after PM Theresa May was unable to attain the majority in the elections on June 08.

EU conditions a swift solution for Europeans residing in UK, about 3.5 million. UK responded that any resident who had been in UK for five years will be able to receive a permanent residency and will attain his rights, except the right to vote in local elections.

Not all British people are okay with that solution and some even threatened to veto the final agreement if EU residents’ conditions were not improved.

The Guardian mentioned the May’s government is accused by negotiators in Brussels of giving Europeans second-degree rights.

EU also stressed the importance of setting the borders with Ireland and British country in Northern Ireland.

“It’s not easy and it might be expensive, but we are not asking for a single pound or euro more than they have legally agreed to provide. You can discuss this or that budget line, but they have to start by recognizing that they have entered into commitments,” said Barnier.