UK’s May taking personal control of Brexit talks

Jeremy Hunt in Berlin

Jeremy Hunt in Berlin

Britain will only pay its European Union divorce bill if the bloc agrees the framework for a future trade deal, the new Brexit Secretary warned in an interview published Sunday.

"The key interlocutor for Mr Barnier is the secretary of state", Robbins told a parliamentary committee.

After Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab indicated he still needs to persuade some members of Mrs May's Cabinet to get behind the controversial Chequers compromise deal on European Union withdrawal aims, the Prime Minister was attempting to emphasis the positive impacts of exiting the bloc. What I'm not going to do is wallow in pessimism about the state of this country in relation to Brexit and we are going to go into these negotiations with economic confidence and political ambition.

"You can't have one side fulfilling its side of the bargain and the other side not, or going slow, or failing to commit on its side".

'We need to make it clear that the two are linked'.

The online shopping giant's contingency planning for a no-deal Brexit, he revealed, includes prep for "civil unrest within two weeks" of the United Kingdom crashing out.

"It is therefore no surprise that momentum is shifting towards giving the people the final say on the deal, and an opportunity to exit from Brexit".

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On a second referendum, Sir John told The Andrew Marr Show: "I mean, frankly, a second vote has democratic downsides". I think it is.

The statement also confirmed there would be no net reduction in staff numbers at DExEU as the department would recruit some new staff, and a number of Cabinet Office officials coordinating work on preparedness would also move to the department.

The prime minister said her government was doing the "responsible" and "sensible" thing and not trying to alarm people.

Thursday's public appearance in the Belgian capital was the first time Mr Barnier and Mr Raab have held a full press conference since the minister took over from David Davis on July 9.

Mr Grieve said he did not believe Mrs May is at risk, but added: "The only group that could possibly bring the Prime Minister down is if the group of my hard Brexit colleagues so lose the plot that they decide that is an effective way for them to proceed".

Mr Coveney, in London for talks aimed at restoring power-sharing in Northern Ireland, said that rather than talking about stockpiling, "we need to be focusing on the intensification of negotiations to try and find solutions and a way forward, as opposed to this tough stance that some people feel the need to take".

Loiseau's comments on the open door policy of the European Union will be good news for campaigners and supporters of a second referendum, or "People's Vote".

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