UK to Agree Brexit Divorce Bill Before Trade Talks

UK to Agree Brexit Divorce Bill Before Trade TalksUK to Agree Brexit Divorce Bill Before Trade Talks

The UK has agreed to sort out its EU “divorce bill” and citizens’ residence rights before starting Brexit trade talks, EU sources have told the BBC. This is the sequence of events that EU negotiators wanted - the UK had been hoping talks on a trade deal could be carried out at the same time. Brexit negotiations are due to start on Monday in Brussels but that will be the only day of talks next week.

The talks are set to continue every month throughout the summer. The EU will aim to see if “sufficient progress” has been made by October to move on to the next phase of negotiations, sources told the BBC’s Europe correspondent Damian Grammaticas.

Monday’s talks between Brexit Secretary David Davis and EU negotiator Michel Barnier follow preliminary negotiations in Brussels between officials.

Davis has said the UK will pay what was legally due, in line with its rights and obligations, but “not just what the EU wants” following reports the “divorce bill” could be 100bn Euros (£87bn).

Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator, said there was no desire to punish the UK but “its accounts must be settled”.

“There is no Brexit bill. The final settlement is all about settling the accounts,” he said last month.

Both sides have said settling the question of whether EU citizens living in the UK, and British expats in EU countries, will have the right to remain after Brexit is a top priority.

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