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Today’s Top Headlines

UK Begins Brexit Negotiations In Brussels

by Amanda Banks,, London

19 June 2017

The UK has begun discussions with the European Union on Brexit, despite uncertainty as to who will form the government that will negotiate the exit deal.

On June 19, the Brexit Secretary David Davis held the first official talks on the UK leaving the European Union.

Davis said that he is determined to reach a Brexit deal "that works for the whole of the UK."

The UK Government said in a press release that Davis is "confident that he can get a positive outcome and secure a new deep and special partnership with the EU."

It announced in a separate statement that Parliament would sit for two years instead of the usual one to give MPs enough time to fully consider the laws required to make Britain ready for Brexit.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) urged the Government to ensure that the economic benefits of the Single Market and the Customs Union are maintained until a final settlement between the United Kingdom and the European Union is agreed and implemented.

It said that UK negotiators should push for the final agreement to include:

  • Tariff-free goods trade between the United Kingdom and the European Union;
  • Minimal customs formalities at the land, sea, and air borders between the United Kingdom and the European Union;
  • A flexible system for the movement of labour and skills between the United Kingdom and the European Union, which should enjoy public support;
  • Protection of the benefits of free trade agreements currently extended to the UK through its EU membership.

Tax experts have previously said that the outcome of the UK's general election on June 8, with the Conservative Party failing to secure a parliamentary majority, could weaken the UK's negotiating position in Brexit talks.

The election had been called by the Conservative Party with the intention of consolidating its hold over UK politics. However, the opposition Labour Party did considerably better than expected, and the Conservative Party lost seats, despite gaining seats in Scotland.

The Conservative Party now lacks a parliamentary majority and is talks with Northern Ireland's DUP on forming a minority Government.

TAGS: tax | value added tax (VAT) | Ireland | law | United Kingdom | agreements | trade | Europe | Tax | Scotland

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