Brexit Negotiations: EU Backs Down, Trade Talks Before ‘Brexit Bill’ Resolved


After previously insisting the UK would be forced to settle a £50 billion Brexit bill before discussing its future relationship with the block, European Union (EU) negotiators have backtracked and are talking about trade. The revelation will be seen as a breakthrough for the UK’s Brexit team after Brexit Secretary David Davis met with the EU’s chief negotiator Michael Barnier in Brussels Monday. Sources told Politico that Mr Barnier planned to raise the issue of how Brexit will impact EU import quotas. “It’s a question of whether the Brits want to cooperate or if they want to go their own way”, one official told the website. In February, a “senior Eurozone official” who was in contact with Mr Barnier said he would insist on “discussing money and acquired rights [of expatriate citizens] until December,” before trade talks could begin. The French diplomat had initially demanded the UK pay a £51.2 billion (€60 billion) divorce bill, reportedly raising it to 100 billion euros in May. Although discussions of EU import quotas does not equate to the broad topic of a future relationship that the U.K. has pushed to cover early on, it does represent a modest step down on behalf of