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United Kingdom finance minister Hammond seeks "pragmatic" Brexit

18 June 2017

Britain will be the first member state ever to leave the bloc.

The newspaper said Britain wanted these rights to be available only to those EU nationals who were living in the country before March 29 this year, when the government triggered the start of the two-year process of leaving the EU.But it is likely to accede to EU demands that the date should be when Britain leaves the EU in 2019, the FT said.

LUXEMBOURG, June 16 British finance minister Philip Hammond said Britain should adopt a pragmatic approach to Brexit negotiations which begin on Monday, striking a different tone to Prime Minister Theresa May who has threatened to leave the European Union without a deal if necessary.

Brexit talks will begin Monday.

Both sides are keen to ensure that people and goods keep moving smoothly across the border and that nothing undermines the peace agreement that ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland.

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"Our view is that a withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other", the department said in a statement Friday.

Speaking to reporters on the fringes of a conference in Dublin, Catherine Day said the debate around Brexit had been at "a very ideological level" so far and that the most hard thing now was for the United Kingdom "to make up its mind" on areas where it is willing to compromise and where its priorities lie.

The opening was set to take place on Monday, but was delayed amid negotiations.

Britain and the European Union now have less than two years to conclude exit negotiations before the UK's departure date at the end of March 2019.

Meanwhile, talks are also continuing between the Conservatives and the DUP on the potential Westminster deal.

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The Conservative source said talks with the small Northern Irish party were progressing well ahead of meetings later Thursday in Downing Street with all of the British province's main political leaders. The inconclusive elections in Britain have further complicated matters.

The two-year negotiation process between EU Brexit chief Michel Barnier and Britain's Brexit minister David Davis had been due to formally start on June 19.

The divorce bill will involve its commitments to the EU's 2014-2020 budget, as well as ending its membership of European Union institutions, banks and funds like the Turkey refugee facility.

Among topics that need to be agreed upon is the status of United Kingdom citizens living and working in the EU, as well as that of European nationals doing the same in Britain.

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