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UK Demands More Frequent Brexit Talks to Force Progress – Bloomberg

U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis will brief Theresa May’s cabinet on plans to ramp up talks with the European Union on Tuesday as the prime minister steps up efforts to break the deadlock and force the agenda on to trade.

David Davis

Davis has proposed a different structure to the negotiations in the hope that it will help both sides to make the necessary compromises, a person familiar with the U.K. position said Monday.

The U.K. wants more discussions on an ongoing basis and to move away from the current pattern of four-day sessions held once a month in Brussels, according to the person, who asked not to be identified because the strategy is private. Regardless of the negotiating structure, only compromises on both sides will deliver the progress needed to break the logjam, the person said.

For Britain, the question is urgent. May’s team wants to start discussing the future trading relationship and a two-year transition phase before the end of the year, but must first satisfy the EU that the U.K. will pay what it owes when it leaves.

Macron and Merkel

Only when European leaders such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron agree that the U.K. and EU have made “sufficient progress” on divorce terms will they allow talks to move on to post-Brexit trade.

Next EU Summit

May’s first chance to win this approval is at the next EU summit on Dec. 14. If the U.K. misses this deadline for progress, some British officials believe the negotiations will be at risk of failure. With or without a deal, the U.K. is set to quit the bloc in March 2019.

Talks are hung up over how much the U.K. will pay in the so-called Brexit bill. The bloc wants Britain to accept that it owes the EU 60 billion euros ($70 billion) to cover commitments it made during its membership, including loans to member states and pension liabilities for EU staff.

Read more: The Brexit Bill and Whether Britain Will Pay Up: QuickTake Q&A

UK Demands More Frequent Brexit Talks to Force Progress – Bloomberg

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