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Davis: Brexit bill row could last until 2019

By Greg Heffer, Political Reporter
David Davis has suggested Britain could be arguing over the so-called Brexit bill until the very end of negotiations with the EU.
The Brexit Secretary told MPs the Brexit talks over the summer had been "tough, complex and at times confrontational".Updating the House of Commons on its return from recess, the Cabinet minister said: "Nobody has ever pretended this would be simple or easy."Mr Davis admitted the EU and UK had "significant differences" and "very different legal stances" over what Britain will owe Brussels on its departure.But he insisted the talks so far had achieved "concrete progress on important issues".
Davis: Brexit bill row could last until 2019

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David Davis told MPs the Brexit negotiations were 'tough, complex and at times confrontational'
Last week, in a tense press conference in Brussels, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier declared there had been no "decisive progress" on key divorce issues following the latest round of talks.The EU has demanded the UK make "sufficient progress" on a multi-billion pound divorce settlement, the issue of the Irish border, and the rights of EU citizens living in Britain, until talks can progress on to the future EU-UK trade relationship.But Mr Davis signalled on Tuesday no final Brexit bill would be agreed until the eve of Britain's EU departure in March 2019.It has been reported the EU could demand as much as 100billion (91billion) as a final divorce payment.Asked by Labour's Chris Leslie whether MPs would be granted a "separate and distinct" vote on the financial settlement agreed by the Government, Mr Davis pointed to the already promised vote on the entire Brexit deal at the end of the negotiations.He said: "My expectation is the money argument will go on for the full duration of the negotiation.
"The famous European line 'nothing's agreed until everything's agreed' will apply here."So there will be a vote and the House can reflect its view on the whole deal, including the money."
Davis: Brexit bill row could last until 2019

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EU leaders will decide at a European Council summit in October whether the Brexit talks have made the "sufficient progress" needed to move on to the next phase of negotiations.Mr Davis suggested the conclusion of the German election campaign at the end of this month could speed up progress.But the Brexit Secretary pushed back against being held to the EU's timetable for negotiations."We shouldn't pin ourselves to September or October or whatever, because in doing so you're doing the job of the people negotiating against you," he said.
Davis: Brexit bill row could last until 2019

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Labour's Sir Keir Starmer claimed Brexit promises 'can't be kept'
In his statement to MPs, Mr Davis called on the EU to be "more imaginative and flexible in their approach" and "put people above process".Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer reminded Mr Davis that Cabinet colleague Liam Fox had previously claimed a Brexit agreement would be "one of the easiest deals in human history"."We are reaching the stage of negotiations where fantasy meets brutal reality," Sir Keir said.The Labour frontbencher called on the Government to drop some of its "deeply flawed" red lines in the Brexit negotiations, such as ending the direct jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.
news.sky.com
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