Brexit Talks Begin
Kane Davis Cooper ̶ Members of the UK team charged with being the first to take a country out of the European Union are in Brussels to start what are considered as the most important discussions for the Island nation since the end of the last world war.
The head negotiators from both the British and European sides are in talks to work out deals on how much the UK will need to pay to finalise the divorce, what will happen to the millions of UK and EU citizens residing in both areas and agree new trade negotiations that both find acceptable enough to move forward with.
Whilst difficulties ahead are abundantly clear to both sides, the head of the UK team, David Davis, voiced his desire to maintain a “deep and special partnership between the UK and the EU”.
It has been over a year now since the historic referendum resulted in a vote to leave and almost three months since the Prime Minister set the clock ticking on the exit process.
After PM Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in June’s election and is still working on securing the support of the DUP, Davis finds himself beginning the negotiations at a time when the UK government is in disarray.
May had previously declared her ambition to take the UK out of the trading bloc completely, possibly without paying a big financial settlement but business leaders and others including Treasury chief Philip Hammond have lobbied hard to for her to ease up with her approach and keep closer bonds with Europe.
A recent survey indicated that, by a slight majority, the British public want the opportunity to vote on any Brexit deal and that just over a quarter want the UK to leave the customs union.
Economic indicators are also pointing towards a softer exit being more beneficial to the UK.
A slowdown in UK consumer spending caused in large part by increasing prices and low wage inflation coupled with a decrease in corporate investments all add to the pressure on the UK negotiation team.