Published: Mon, September 04, 2017
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

David Davis: Barnier's Brexit stance looks 'silly'

David Davis: Barnier's Brexit stance looks 'silly'

The so-called Brexit bill is a contentious issue both domestically, where eurosceptics are keen to see as little money paid as possible, and with the European Union, which is demanding Britain meets its existing commitments to the bloc.

According to a report in the Sunday Times, the Prime Minister is quietly preparing to approve a bill that would see the United Kingdom pay between £7bn and £17bn a year to the European Union for three years after Britain leaves in 2019. The UK would probably have to contribute at least €1.3 billion, the average amount...

The EU is only prepared to begin trade talks once it has assessed that "sufficient progress" has been made on issues including the financial settlement, and has set next month's European Council meeting as a deadline. So far there have been no apparent breakthroughs, stoking talk of the need for a transition period after the two-year Brexit process ends March 29, 2019.

They want to spread payments out over three years, hoping it won't work out as much more than the £13.1bn we pay each year at the moment (taking into account our rebate).

Meanwhile, David Davis has said he will not back down over the size of the UK's divorce bill with Brussels.

The latest round of discussions between Davis and the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier failed to make progress on the divorce bill prompting a tense press conference between the pair on Thursday (31 August) in which Barnier said there had been a lack of "decisive progress on any of the principal subjects". "The commission puts itself in a silly position if it says nothing has been done".

"If you take our fresh produce supply chains, for example, we put things on a lorry in Spain and it will arrive in a distribution centre somewhere in England, and it won't have gone through any border checks". I said this is going to be turbulent. "They are trying to use time against us". The prime minister's allies have warned rebels that they risk putting Jeremy Corbyn into No10 if they attempt to water down the so-called Repeal Bill.

"There is some progress, we'd like there to be more progress".

Critics say the bill will allow government ministers sweeping powers to change key areas of the law without parliamentary scrutiny, though Davis has insisted the powers will only be used for technical purposes.

"We are a country that meets its worldwide obligations - but they have got to be there", he said.

Davis said all MPs had an interest in the bill succeeding.

"This bill is there in order to enable continuity, if you want a soft Brexit. this is the bill you should be supporting".

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