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Brexit talks start as war breaks out among United Kingdom ministers

Brexit talks start as war breaks out among United Kingdom ministers”

"For us, it's incredibly important we now make good progress", added Mr Davis, who held a first day of talks a month ago to agree an agenda, a year after Britons vote to leave the EU.

Brexit secretary David Davis said this morning the two sides would be focusing on four key issues this week: citizens rights, finance, separation issues and Northern Ireland.

The two hope there will be sufficient progress on those issues this summer so that talks on a future relationship between the two can start in October or November.

Mr Davis said they made a "good start" at last month's preliminary talks - but it was now time to "get to the nitty-gritty".

After his arrival at the EU's headquarters on Monday morning, the European Commission released pictures of Mr Davis sitting opposite his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, with their respective teams.

Prime Minister Theresa May's proposals last month met a tepid reception from her European Union counterparts, who said they didn't go far enough.

"The European Parliament will reserve its right to reject any agreement that treats EU citizens less favourably than they are at present", the letter said.

David Davis smiles as Michel Barnier talks at the start of Brexit talks
Video Davis Let's get down to business

The EU has demonstrated increasing confidence in recent weeks, accusing Britain of dithering over whether it wants a "hard" or "soft" Brexit more than a year after the shock referendum that propelled May to power.

A fourth set of talks is focused on addressing problems in Northern Ireland once a new European Union land border divides the island.

He will come back to Brussels on Thursday for more talks with Barnier and a news conference.

British Chancellor Philip Hammond accused at least one fellow cabinet minister of leaking details of a cabinet meeting last week.

It began with the publication of what Britain said was a "fair and serious" offer to guarantee the future rights of the 3.2 million European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom - and in return the 1.2 million British ex-pats residing in the EU.

Britain's "divorce bill" is estimated at about €60 billion although some commentators have suggested it could be as large as €100 billion.

Mr Grayling said the suggestion that there were "profound and fundamental differences" between Cabinet ministers on Brexit were "a bit exaggerated", but admitted: "We're not a group of clones, we have discussions around the Cabinet table and outside Cabinet, we debate issues, we decide what's right and then we get on with it".

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