Brexit transition can not be back door to staying in EU

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Brexit transition can not be back door to staying in EU

The government will this week publish the first of three discussion papers ahead of the next round of negotiations, scheduled to start August 28 in Brussels, Brexit Secretary David Davis's office said in a statement on Sunday.

Britain said it was preparing to publish several papers, including plans for a new customs arrangement and a proposal on how to resolve the difficulties of a non-physical border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The next round of talks is due at the end of the month, with both sides looking for progress towards a solution to three of Brexit's thorniest problems: how much Britain should pay to leave, what rights British and European Union citizens will have, and how to manage a land border to the bloc in Ireland.

The exit bill, estimated at tens of billions of euros, is to cover pension liabilities for European Union staff and programs Britain committed to funding over the next few years.

The bloc's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said last month there was "a clock ticking" on the talks. The EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned EU ambassadors last month that the lack of progress meant talks on the future relationship with the United Kingdom, including a free-trade agreement, may not be possible by the next leader's summit in October, and may have to extended.

Britain is keen to start talking about its post-Brexit relationship with Europe, wary of the need to reassure anxious businesses, citizens and investors.

Britain needs a transition period to soften its exit from the European Union, but it can not be used to stop Brexit, two senior ministers said on Saturday, signalling a truce between rival factions in Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet. The EU has warned that an already-tight timetable could be delayed ahead of a scheduled March 2019 exit.

Prime Minister Theresa May then called a snap election in an attempt to increase her Conservative Party's majority in Parliament and strengthen her negotiating hand.

In recent weeks, with May on her summer vacation, members of her Cabinet have openly disagreed about what direction Brexit should take.

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