UK tries to parry claims it’s un­pre­pared in Brexit talks

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

The Bri­tish gov­ern­ment is fight­ing back against crit­i­cism that it is di­vided and un­pre­pared for Brexit, an­nounc­ing it will pub­lish a set of de­tailed pro­pos­als on cus­toms ar­range­ments, the sta­tus of the Ire­land-North­ern Ire­land bor­der and other is­sues. The Depart­ment for Ex­it­ing the Euro­pean Union said yes­ter­day that it would re­lease the first set of po­si­tion pa­pers this week, more than a year after Bri­tons voted in a ref­er­en­dum to leave the Euro­pean Union.

The gov­ern­ment says it hopes to per­suade the 27 other EU na­tions to start ne­go­ti­at­ing a “deep and spe­cial” fu­ture re­la­tion­ship that would in­clude a free trade deal be­tween Bri­tain and the EU. The EU says those ne­go­ti­a­tions can’t start un­til suf­fi­cient progress has been made on three ini­tial is­sues: how much money the U.K. will have to pay to leave the bloc; whether se­cu­rity checks and cus­toms du­ties will be in­sti­tuted on the Ir­ish bor­der; and the sta­tus of EU na­tion­als liv­ing in Bri­tain.

The exit bill, es­ti­mated at tens of bil­lions of eu­ros, is to cover pen­sion li­a­bil­i­ties for EU staff and pro­grams Bri­tain com­mit­ted to fund­ing over the next few years. The gov­ern­ment’s Brexit depart­ment said Bri­tain wants to show that progress on the pre­lim­i­nary is­sues has been made and “we are ready to broaden out the ne­go­ti­a­tions” by the time of an EU sum­mit in Oc­to­ber.

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