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Liam Fox warns that Cabinet leaks could hurt UK Brexit talks

18 July 2017

David Davis, the Britain's Brexit secretary, began four days of talks with European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier in Brussels on Monday, but flew home to London after only three hours of negotiation.

After an initial meeting last month where the structure of the talks was determined, Britain's Brexit minister, David Davis, met up with the EU's chief Brexit negotiator in Brussels ahead of four-days of discussions.

"For us it's incredibly important we now make good progress, that we negotiate through this and identify the differences so we can deal with them and identify the similarities so that we can reinforce them", added Davis.

After his arrival at the EU's headquarters on Monday morning, the European Commission released pictures of Mr Davis sitting opposite his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, with their respective teams.

Barnier said: "We will now delve into the heart of the matter".

Barnier and Davis are to brief the media on Thursday, when they should give political endorsement to whatever officials have managed to agree.

But, like non-EU immigrants now, they would lose the right to vote in local elections in Britain and would be subject to minimum salary requirements to be able to bring family members into the country.

He pointed to four categories where they needed to make progress on: "The issue of citizens' rights, the issue of finance, of separation and of course, separately, Northern Ireland". The Sunday Times cited five unidentified sources as saying Hammond had described public-sector workers as "overpaid" during the cabinet meeting last week, and was criticized by Johnson for the statement.

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The EU has demonstrated increasing confidence in recent weeks, accusing Britain of dithering over whether it wants a "hard" or "soft" Brexit more than a year after the shock referendum that propelled May to power.

European Union leaders unanimously speak of rare harmony among them on how to deal with Britain so that Brexit does not unravel the European Union further.

It is not much better overseas, as the mood between London and Brussels has soured following a series of public spats in recent weeks.

"It's good to be back in Brussels, to open the next formal round of the negotiations", Davis said upon arrival.

One of the key issues is the financial settlement.

There are some 3 million European Union citizens in Britain, and about 1.5 million United Kingdom nationals in the other 27 European Union countries.

As doubt for and objection to Brexit continue, progress favorable to those in support of the breaking away has been made, creating a silver lining for the closely watched second round of talks.

Liam Fox warns that Cabinet leaks could hurt UK Brexit talks