Davis wants legal clarification from European Union over Brexit payout

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UK citizens will retain access to free healthcare in the EU. Stefan Rousseau PA Wire Press Association Images

Research on behalf of anti-Brexit group Open Britain claims at least 19 deals between the European Union and U.S. cover economic issues that could put the United Kingdom at risk if not addressed during ongoing negotiations.

The British government has produced a series of so-called "position papers" to set out its stance on major subjects involved with Brexit in the lead up to the third round of ongoing discussions, which opened in Brussels yesterday.

Downing Street has said the government will not back away from its demand to kick off negotiations on a post-Brexit trade deal as soon as possible - even though the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, flatly dismissed the idea on Tuesday.

The EU Commission president has dismissed the UK's preparation for Brexit talks as "unsatisfactory" as a war of words intensified at the start of the latest round of negotiations.

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However, his European Union counterpart, Michel Barnier, insists that the United Kingdom still needs to clarify its position on a few divorce issues and "start negotiating seriously" and added that "I am concerned".

"There are still an enormous number of issues that need to be settled", Mr Juncker continued. Agreeing special exemptions for the United Kingdom from the single market and customs union rules would lead to "lengthy discussions" about how to ensure a level playing field for 27 EU member states vis-à-vis the United Kingdom, the official said.

Brexit Secretary David Davis lasyt week unveiled five position papers due before the next round of talks.

Asked why Britain has not published a position paper on the Brexit Bill - one of three issues Brussels wants settled before trade talks - No 10 said more papers would be forthcoming in the coming weeks.

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"We now have the negotiating team in Brussels meeting with Mr Barnier".

Mr Juncker added: 'First of all we settle the past before we look forward to the future'.

Mr Davis insisted that all the United Kingdom position papers were sufficiently detailed, saying: "They are the products of hard work and detailed thinking that has been going on behind the scenes not just the last few weeks, but for the last 12 months, and should form the basis of what I hope will be a constructive week of talks". "We'll see where we get to on Thursday, but we believe we're in a good position, and would like to move on to discuss our future relationship". The question of a potential reinstatement of a border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and the Republic of Ireland, an European Union member state, is yet anothercontentious issue.

The government is hoping the next round of talks, in September, will achieve sufficient progress to convince EU27 leaders to signal at the European council in October that talks can move on.

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