Brexit: David Davis to have dinner with French foreign minister in bid to jump-start EU withdrawal talks

Meeting comes after Emmanuel Macron suggests divorce bill could top €40bn (£36bn)

Arj Singh
Saturday 21 October 2017 19:43
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David Davis’s meeting comes after the French president suggested the Brexit divorce bill could top €40bn
David Davis’s meeting comes after the French president suggested the Brexit divorce bill could top €40bn

David Davis will travel to Paris on Monday for Brexit talks days after French President Emmanuel Macron suggested Britain would need to up its divorce payment offer to unlock trade negotiations.

The Brexit Secretary will have dinner with French foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian in the UK’s latest attempt to jump-start withdrawal talks with the European Union.

France is seen to be taking one of the EU’s most hardline views on the exit bill after Mr Macron suggested at this week’s European Council that it could top €40bn (£36bn).

The president said that earlier indications the UK could offer around €20bn (£18bn) to ensure its EU partners were not left out of pocket due to Brexit did not go halfway to what was required.

The Prime Minister repeatedly dodged questions at the European Council summit in Brussels over how much the UK is ready to pay, insisting the size of a “full and final settlement” will not emerge until agreement is reached on all aspects of Brexit.

But she did not deny suggestions it could be “many more billions” than the €20bn indicated in her speech in Florence last month.

A Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU) source confirmed Mr Davis’s plans, which will be seen as a fresh attempt to unblock negotiations which took a small step forward at the Council summit.

An agreement to begin scoping work on trade may reassure City firms which had suggested they might have to move functions and staff to the continent if no progress was made by Christmas.

But it was accompanied by clear demands from EU leaders for Britain to make more concessions on the divorce bill so they can green light trade negotiations at the next Council summit in mid-December.

Press Association

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