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Brexit talks won’t be delayed

He also described Brexit as the “position of the Tories”, rather than the democratically expressed will of the British people, and said the United Kingdom should lose the Brussels budget rebate negotiated by Margaret Thatcher in 1984, and sovereignty “opt-outs” on borders and the euro.A spokeswoman for the Brexit department said: “We have said consistently that resolving the status of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and UK nationals living in other member states is our first priority for negotiations”.The announcement was agreed on Thursday between Brexit minister David Davis and the European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, the ministry said.The negotiations are scheduled to last approximately 18 months, from June to November 2018, a short period of time given the number of subjects that will need to be covered as the United Kingdom breaks free of the EU.Demanding a swift start to Brexit negotiations under Article 50 of the European Union treaties, the former Belgian prime minister compared Britain’s position to the heroine of Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, who found herself in a room with many doors and no idea what lay behind them.While European leaders try to gauge what to expect from the Brexit talks due to begin in Brussels on Monday, May is so weakened that her own Brexit strategy is the subject of public debate in her own party, and by her potential allies.There must be unanimous agreement by the EU’s 27 other members for that to happen and officials have said that’s only likely to come in October at the earliest.This is published unedited from the IANS feed.In another sign of economic actors taking decisions based on a view Britain will be isolated from its neighbours, a medical charity said the number of nurses from European Union countries registering to work in Britain – a key part of the healthcare workforce – had dropped 96 percent since the Brexit referendum.Britain seems to have tacitly accepted the EU’s plan for sequenced talks, which will focus first on the terms of Britain’s withdrawal, with negotiations on a future relationship and trade deal coming later. “The current uncertainty can not continue”, he added on Twitter, urging the United Kingdom government to take the general election result “into account” and not pursue a “hard Brexit”.Arriving for a meeting with his counterparts in the 28-country EU, Hammond said his “clear view and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward”. “But the withdrawal and future are intimately linked”.The move comes after Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond on Thursday canceled a speech in which he was set to make the case for protecting jobs and economic growth rather than controlling immigration.”As we enter negotiations next week we will do so in a spirit of honest cooperation taking a pragmatic approach to trying to find a solution that works both for the United Kingdom and for the European Union 27″, he said.The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has long argued that the initial talks should center on brokering deals on citizens’ rights, money owed by the United Kingdom and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.