Clarity emerges, but divisions remain

‘We are now moving forward in the same direction,’ Michel Barnier has told the media

Points of agreement, including pension uprating, are revealed. However the second round of negotiations sees the EU ask the UK for more clarity on where it stands on the exit bill

The EU has warned that Brexit negotiations may stall if the UK does not clarify what it agrees to include in its ‘exit bill’.

Its lead negotiator Michel Barnier has welcomed the UK’s acknowledgement that it will have to pay to honour commitments on leaving the EU, but while the EU has listed the bill’s contents and given legal reasons, the UK has not responded. This is needed for there to be ‘sufficient progress’ to move forward with other matters, he said.

The EU has not given a figure, however experts estimate it could be around a net €55-75bn.

UK negotiator David Davis said the talks, carried out by 98 civil servants on the UK side, were “constructive” and “encouraging”.

Both sides’ negotiators said progress had been made after talks on July 17-20 which included finding areas of agreement and disagreement over rights.

Both sides now agree, for example, on uprated pensions and on continued social security and healthcare rights.

However there is still much ground to cover on the subject of post-Brexit rights.

Both MEPs and campaign groups have said the UK’s published offer for expats (tinyurl.com/uk-expats-paper) is inferior to the EU’s. While the EU wants its expats to maintain rights they have held under EU law as EU citizens (tinyurl.com/EU-expats-paper), the UK wants to replace these rights with ones held under a new ‘settled status’ under UK law, which may not be identical.

What is more if any rights are lost by EU27 ...

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