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UK to hold two-year Brexit parliament

18 Juin 2017

May 2018 English local government elections will provide the Prime Minister with her first widespread electoral test since the disastrous snap election of June 8 2017.

Britain's finance minister said Friday that jobs and growth should be the priority when Brexit negotiations begin next week, indicating that the weakened government in London might be softening its tone with Brussels.

Brexit minister David Davis will travel to Brussels to meet Michel Barnier, the European Union s chief negotiator, to kick off hugely complex withdrawal negotiations that are expected to conclude within two years.

"Now, the hard work begins".

Barnier wants agreement on the withdrawal, and on a transitional path to a future relationship, by October 2018, so that the European and British parliaments can ratify the deal by Brexit day in March 2019.

"Both sides will also discuss the structure of the negotiations and the issues that need to be addressed over the coming months".

The other 27 countries who make up the European Union have always said no to that and that the past needs to be sorted out before the future. They also have a strong incentive to deny the United Kingdom a deal so attractive it might encourage others to follow the British example.

There have been calls for a new cross-party approach to the talks in the wake of the General Election result, although Downing Street has insisted its strategy will not change.

She is also trying to contain outrage at home over a London tower block fire which left at least 30 people dead.

He added: "These talks will be hard at points, but we will be approaching them in a constructive way".

Meanwhile a separate row erupted with Brussels, after the Brexit department strenuously denied reports it will settle a multi-billion pound "divorce bill" before starting talks on future trade deal with the EU.

But the turmoil of the euro zone crisis, fears in Britain about immigration and a series of miscalculations by former Prime Minister David Cameron prompted Britain to vote by 52 to 48 percent for Brexit in a June 23 referendum past year.

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When will Britain leave the EU?

"We want to see a Brexit that works for everybody, not just in Northern Ireland from my perspective but in the Republic of Ireland as well, so it is about a sensible Brexit", Foster told reporters. They argue instead for a "soft" version, prioritizing some form of continued access to the single market in order to minimize economic damage.

May has clung on to power but has so far failed to conclude an agreement with Northern Ireland s ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party that would bolster her ability to govern.

"We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", he said in Luxembourg last week.

While Britain's economy has shown unexpected resilience since the Brexit vote, there are signs of weakness.

British chancellor Philip Hammond said he would not agree to a deal that would "destroy" Britain.

"Everything is all over the place", said a senior executive responsible for Brexit preparations at a FTSE 100 company.

"We're not deaf", he said when asked about voter frustration with spending cuts.

Another scoundrel in the eyes of Eurosceptics, the European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator's role will grow as the talks near their end because MEPs will have a veto over any final deal.

The Frenchman has been given a mandate by the leaders of the remaining EU27 states to focus initially on the key elements of the withdrawal package - a multi-billion euro "divorce bill", rights for European Union citizens and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

The situation in Ireland - where the only land border between the European Union and United Kingdom will lie - will also be discussed.

Business chiefs have backed First Minister Nicola Sturgeon's call for the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to have a seat at the Brexit negotiating table.

UK to hold two-year Brexit parliament