EU and UK at Odds Over Divorce Bill

David Davis, (L) and Michel BarnierDavid Davis, (L) and Michel Barnier

The UK and EU are still at odds over citizens’ rights and the amount the UK will pay to divorce the bloc, at the end of the second week of Brexit talks.

EU negotiator Michel Barnier said the UK had not been clear enough about where it stands on these issues and that was hampering progress, BBC reported.

UK Brexit Secretary David Davis said the negotiations on the so-called divorce bill had been “robust”.

He said progress had been made but both sides needed to show “flexibility”.

Barnier said: “We require this clarification on the financial settlement, on citizens’ rights, on Ireland —with the two key points of the common travel area and the Good Friday Agreement— and the other separation issues where this week’s experience has quite simply shown we make better progress where our respective positions are clear.”

Davis said: “We have had robust but constructive talks this week. Clearly there’s a lot left to talk about and further work before we can resolve this. Ultimately, getting to a solution will require flexibility from both sides.”

Barnier said there had been some areas of agreement about how Britons living abroad and EU nationals living in the UK should be treated after Brexit. A jointly agreed “technical note” outlining the UK and EU’s positions on citizens’ rights has been published.

But there was disagreement over “the rights of future family members”, meaning children born in the future to EU citizens in the UK, and “the exports of certain social benefits”.

The EU wants rights currently enjoyed by EU citizens in the UK - access to healthcare, welfare, education - to apply to children and family members, whether they currently live in the UK or not, and to continue in perpetuity, after the death or divorce of the rights-holder.


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