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UK to target 'deep partnership' with EU in Brexit talks: Johnson

19 June 2017

Anxious by mass immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain past year voted to end its decades-old membership of the 28-nation bloc in a shock referendum result.

But the situation is very different from 12 months ago when the Brexiteers were riding high, with Prime Minister Theresa May's entire approach called into question after a disastrous election performance on June 8.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is newly influential after winning a crucial 13 seats in Scotland, has said Britain should prioritise "freedom to trade and our economic growth".

It has also spoken out on what Britain's financial settlement with the European Union ought to entail.

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With Britain's negotiations on the terms of its departure from the European Union set to begin on Monday, the country risks skills shortages and losing business if it ends freedom of movement without a new plan for attracting workers, the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said.

"We will leave the customs union when we leave the European Union".

"It's a statement of common sense that if we are going to radically change the way we work together, we need to get there via a slope, not a cliff edge". "That's a statement of legal fact", he told BBC television.

The negotiations kick off in Brussels on Monday with Britain under pressure for stalling the talks and entering the negotiations without a working parliamentary majority fully in place.

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Talks with the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will focus on the status of expats, the UK's "divorce bill" and the Northern Ireland border.

According to the guidelines, the first phase will focus on two main issues, namely citizens' rights and immediate effects of the Brexit on them, as well as settlement of financial rights and obligations that were undertaken by the United Kingdom as a European Union member state. The negotiations have been called the most complex in Britain's history as it unravels 44 years of membership and its threat to walk out with no deal in place has anxious European capitals.

He said: "No deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain, but there is a possible worse outcome and that is a deal that is deliberately structured to suck the lifeblood out of our economy over a period of time".

Mr Hammond said he would not agree to a deal that would "destroy" Britain. It left an image of a dysfunctional Britain coming up against a well-oiled European Union negotiating machine.

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