Second round of Brexit talks to get under way

Even as London feuds Brexit negotiations take place in Brussels

"We made a good start last month, and this week we'll be getting into the real substance", Davis was quoted by Reuters as saying ahead of the meeting.

As doubt for and objection to Brexit continue, progress favorable to those in support of the breaking away has been made, creating a silver lining for the closely watched second round of talks.

Barnier said, "We will now delve into the heart of the matter", before the two sat down for a first meeting flanked by the officials who will lead the detailed negotiations. That is also the view in much of the European Union, where leaders do not want to see Britain given an indefinite half-in, half-out status.

'Protecting the rights of all our citizens is the priority for me going into this round and I'm clear that it's something we must make real progress on'.

Pictures showed a lack of notes on the table in front of Davis and his two advisers, in contrast to sheaves of paperwork brought by Barnier and his team.

The British side had urged over the past months an immediate start of trade talks, but Barnier had insisted that key issues of Brexit must be dealt with before trade talks begin.

But May's minority government remains fragile one month after the snap June 8 election in which her Conservative Party lost its majority, leaving the European Union wondering whether she can actually formulate a coherent Brexit policy.


But as the talks get under way, it is reported that Chancellor Philip Hammond is being accused of Brexit treachery and trying to frustrate the UK's withdrawal from the EU. Her spokesman said she would tell ministers not to reveal cabinet discussions.

He pointed to four categories where they needed to make progress on: "The issue of citizens' rights, the issue of finance, of separation and of course, separately, Northern Ireland".

"I am not hearing any whistling, just the clock ticking", said the former European Commissioner and French foreign minister.

Monday's talks, however, come amid signs of increasingly serious splits within the United Kingdom government over the preferred approach to the talks, with the chancellor, Philip Hammond, complaining on Sunday that he was being briefed against by fellow ministers opposed to his pro-business focus. Last week the government admitted there would have to be a financial settlement, despite Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson claiming the European Union could "go whistle" for the money.

The Brexit Secretary is hoping to win round Michel Barnier over Britain's plan to guarantee the future rights of European nationals living in the United Kingdom amid deep divisions back home.

United Kingdom finance minister Philip Hammond said Sunday that Britain will take responsibility for the money it owes, but dismissed the 100 billion euro figure as "ridiculous".

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