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European Union officials seek sense of urgency as Brexit bargaining begins
17 July 2017, 04:26 | Rufus Hill
Even as London feuds Brexit negotiations take place in Brussels
Britain's Brexit minister vowed to "get down to work" as he kicked off a first full round of negotiations on Monday, a year after Britons voted narrowly to quit the European Union their government still seemed at odds over what it wants.
Mr Davis is facing strong opposition from the EU over Britain's proposals for rights of European nationals living in the United Kingdom, as well as pressure to accept paying a huge "divorce" bill.
Davis said it was "incredibly important" to make progress, "that we negotiate through this and identify the differences so that we can deal with them and identify the similarities so that we can reinforce them".
'We need to examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress'.
Brussels has assumed for the past year that Britain needs a transitional period to avoid a "cliff edge" loss of European Union access.
Her Brexit minister, veteran anti-EU campaigner David Davis, will meet Barnier, a French former cabinet minister, at the European Commission's Berlaymont headquarters at 9:15 a.m. (0715 GMT) on Monday for a brief public handshake before formal business begins.
Discussions on the politically charged issue of the Irish border issue will be led by Sabine Weyand, Barnier's deputy, and Olly Robbins, permanent secretary of the department for exiting the EU.
For now, the EU says May's offer to guarantee the rights of 3 million Europeans in Britain falls short. The EU remains uncertain about whether British negotiators will be able to conclude an agreement, amid deep political divides in the government on Brexit.
All of the topics have created controversy, as European Parliament lawmakers criticized the U.K.'s "settled status" offer on EU residents in the United Kingdom, threatening to veto any Brexit deal if the offer isn't improved.
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who was also in Brussels, emphasized the British offer on citizens' rights, calling it "very fair" and "serious".
If you want my opinion, some of the noise is generated by people who are not happy with the agenda which I, over the last few weeks, have tried to advance of ensuring that we achieve a Brexit which is focused on protecting our economy, protecting our jobs, and making sure that we have continued rising living standards in the future, he said in a TV interview.
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