Second Round of Brexit Talks Kicks Off in Brussels

Davis said it is "time to get down to work" and make negotiations a success.

Britain and the European Union (EU) launch a new round of Brexit negotiations here on Monday as conflicting views on "divorce" terms cast shadow on the resumption of talks and a feasible deal seems rather hard to reach for now.

"I absolutely deplore leaks from the Cabinet", he said. A Sunday Times newspaper story on the divisions amid positioning to succeed May was illustrated by an image of Hammond, Davis and Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson aiming pistols at each other.

His backing helped secure a four-point victory for the Leave camp in June past year.

While the EU Commission negotiators each sat with a stack of briefing papers in front of them, the United Kingdom delegation had none, leading to speculation on Twitter as to whether they had actually brought any.

British Chancellor Philip Hammond accused at least one fellow cabinet minister of leaking details of a cabinet meeting last week.

Splits in London over basic issues, such as the need for a phased withdrawal lasting for some years, could raise the risk of a failure to reach any deal, European Union officials say.

The sides have less than two years to settle terms before Britain leaves - either with a deal or without - on March 30, 2019.

Oliver Robbins, the top civil servant in Davis's ministry, did have a slim, black notebook and pen on the table.

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British businesses are anxious to see a coherent approach in government to indicate how a transition would work and how long it would run, to help them make investment decisions.

A senior City of London official, Catherine McGuinness, told Reuters that firms in Europe's main financial centre needed clarity, ideally by the end of the year. Even so, she rejected his pleas to make an unconditional pledge on their rights.

"We made a good start last month, and this week we'll be getting into the real substance", Davis said on July 16.

However, Barnier said they would be in contact throughout the week.

Did David Davis forget his notes?

Her Brexit minister, veteran anti-EU campaigner David Davis, will meet Barnier, a French former cabinet minister, at the European Commission's Berlaymont headquarters at 9:15 a.m. (0715 GMT) on Monday for a brief public handshake before formal business begins. Until then, little significant news may filter out from the talks.

But Brussels insists it will only start discussing the future once there has been "sufficient progress" on key issues involved in Britain's withdrawal―an estimated 100-billion-euro ($112 billion) exit bill, citizens rights, and the border in Northern Ireland.

These talks focus on Britain's arrangements to leave the EU.

  • Sonia Alvarado