Brexit talks make ‘concrete progress’, UK’s Davis says

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Discussions between the European Union and Britain over Brexit have made some improvement. However, negotiators from the European Union need to be more adaptable and pragmatic, Brexit minister of Britain said on Thursday.

“This week we’ve had long and detailed negotiations across multiple areas and I think it’s fair to say, we’ve made some concrete progress,” David Davis announced during a joint news conference, striking a more positive note compared to the EU’s negotiator who spoke that “no decisive progress” had been made.

After Brexit talks that lasted for four days in Brussels this week, Davis stated that there was a “high degree of convergence” regarding the issue of the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Davis said that Britain had a responsibility to “interrogate” the demand from the European Union that London should settle its accounts, including obligations stretching beyond 2019, its planned exit.

“We have a very different legal stance but as we said in the Article 50 letter the settlement should be in accordance with EU law and in the spirit of UK’s continuing partnership with the EU,” said Davis.

“We are a country that meets its international obligations and will continue to do so, but those obligations have to be well specified and they have to be real. They don’t necessarily have to be legal. We also recognised moral obligations sometimes.”

The British minister stated that the approach of Britain to the negotiations was for more “flexible and pragmatic” compared to the EU and criticised the European Union’s two-phase approach – to resolve divorce issues prior to talking about future trade ties.

“I remain of the view there is an unavoidable overlap between withdrawal and the future and they cannot be neatly compartmentalised,” said Davis.

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