Britain-EU Brexit talks to start Monday as planned

Britain says Brexit talks to start Monday

Prime Minister Theresa May wants to negotiate the divorce and the future trading relationship with the European Union before Britain leaves in March 2019, followed by what she calls a phased implementation process to give business time to prepare for the impact of Brexit.

Since May's Conservative Party failed to win a majority in last week's general election, there has been a lot of debate over the impact on the Brexit discussions and whether the British government will be more open to compromising on some issues, like trade.

May needs the backing of the DUP's 10 MPs if her government is to pass any legislation, and also for it to gain approval of the Queen's Speech, which is the formal presentation of the government's plans made at the state opening of Parliament. The U.K. has only until 29 March 2019 to settle its divorce bill from the European Union and negotiate its future trading relationship with continent.

Arlene Foster, the head of the small Northern Irish political party in talks to support Theresa May's minority government, said on Friday she wanted a "sensible Brexit" that would work for the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. It does not wash.

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Meanwhile, a Conservative source told Reuters talks with the DUP have been very positive and constructive so far with broad agreement on some principles, but they are not putting a time frame on when a deal will be done. "It is the only way to unite the country and strengthen our bargaining power with the European Union".

Leavers within the Government are predicting ferocious resistance to Brexit from without the Cabinet as well as within, with one minister predicting "utterly bitter, trench warfare" as opposition politicians and Tory rebels "fight us line by line, in committees, on the floor and in the Lords, for months and months on end".

Foster said talks with May would continue into next week.

Brussels has warned that time is running out to start the talks with Britain on divorce terms and a future trade deal. "It's our dominating theme today and will remain so over the weekend as bodies are recovered and we start to get a sense of the scale of the tragedy".

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