Second round of Brexit talks

Brexit Minister David Davis meets with European Union Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier

Britain is embarking on the first full round of Brexit negotiations, as the Cabinet remains in all-out war over the Government's negotiating strategy.

'And now it's time to get down to work and make this a successful negotiation'.

Negotiators will focus their talks on key issues, with Britain's exit bill as the core.

In Brussels, Mr Davis is expected to insist the government is now ready to "get down to business", after European Union warnings that "the clock is ticking" on Britain.

The negotiations this week are expected to focus on the post-Brexit rights of citizens in each other's nations, the bill Britain has to pay to meet existing commitments, the border issue in Ireland and the pre-eminence of the EU's Court of Justice.

"We made a good start last month, and this week we'll be getting into the real substance", Davis was quoted by Reuters as saying ahead of the meeting.

EU negotiators want to be able to impose huge fines on Britain for breaking European laws for years after Brexit, it has emerged.

More news: Pakistan announced the start of military operations on the border with Afghanistan

Mr Barnier said: "We will now delve into the heart of the matter". That was a reminder of a gulf in perceptions across the Channel where European Union leaders have assumed from the outset that Britain would need more than the two years allowed by treaty to negotiate the deal it wants to retain close, open trading links with the continent.

A weekend of media briefings from competing factions within the Conservatives did little to reassure companies, though most cabinet ministers appear now to accept that there needs to be what May calls an "implementation phase".

The pound fell from a 10-month high against the dollar on concern that discord within the United Kingdom government is worsening before the nation starts the second round of Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

Mr Barnier, who has made clear that he is not prepared to start talks on a trade deal until there has been sufficient progress on the financial settlement, retorted icily he could not hear any whistling, "just the clock ticking".

Finance chief Philip Hammond said on July 16 that Britain will take responsibility for the money it owes, saying, "We're not a country that walks away from its debts".

Brexit hardliners in the Cabinet and on the Tory backbenches are furious with Mr Hammond for championing a two-year transition deal to cushion the impact of leaving the EU.

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