UK hopes for progress as Brexit negotiations resume

Brexit negotiations will resume in Brussels, with the UK hoping to achieve progress in order for trade talks to be given the green light before Christmas.

Officials from both sides will meet for a sixth round of talks, with the European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier warning that "more progress" is needed on the first phase of the process.

The UK hopes that sufficient progress will have been made on the withdrawal issues - including the major stumbling block of the financial settlement with Brussels - to allow European leaders to agree to move on to the next stage of the process, covering trade and a transitional deal, in December.

Brexit Secretary David Davis and Mr Barnier will meet on Friday, with talks being conducted by their officials on Thursday.

Ahead of the talks, Mr Davis has visited European capitals in an attempt to build support for the UK's position ahead of the gathering of EU leaders on December 14-15.

In Poland on Tuesday he said the "historic and deep relationship" between the two countries would continue after leaving the European Union.

"We are approaching the discussions in a spirit of goodwill and at the December European Council we hope to rely on the support of our friends in Poland in progressing discussions to the next stage," he said.

Mr Davis visited Rome on Monday to say that ties with Italy would "go from strength to strength" after Brexit.

In the run-up to the latest round of talks the Government has also published updated proposals on how the rights of EU citizens in the UK will be protected.

EU citizens will be granted a statutory right of appeal if their application to stay in the UK after Brexit is rejected, the Government announced.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK and EU were "in touching distance of an agreement" but representatives of the estimated three million EU citizens living in the UK said that the revised proposals still left them in the position of "bargaining chips", as they are dependent on a deal being reached, and have no guaranteed right to remain if talks break down.


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