2nd round of Brexit talks set for July 17

SEAT OF POWER. Union flags fly near the Houses of Parliament, comprising the House of Commons and the House of Lords, in London on March 13, 2017. Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

SEAT OF POWER. Union flags fly near the Houses of Parliament, comprising the House of Commons and the House of Lords, in London on March 13, 2017.

Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP

LONDON, United Kingdom – The 2nd round of Brexit negotiations will take place in Brussels on Monday, July 17, the British government said Friday, July 14.

Britain's Brexit minister David Davis will meet EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier for talks, followed by a meeting of coordinators and negotiating groups.

The 3 negotiating groups cover citizens' rights, the financial settlement between the two parties and other separation issues.

Issues relating to Northern Ireland and the governance of the withdrawal agreement are to be addressed by the coordinators.

The coordination and negotiation sessions go on through the week until a closing plenary and a press conference on Thursday, July 20.

The EU says it will only start discussing future relations with the UK, including a possible trade deal, after "sufficient progress" has been made on these opening topics, hopefully later this year.

The exit bill has been a major source of contention.

Barnier has warned that the negotiations must be wrapped up by October 2018 to allow time for all parties to ratify a final accord by March 2019.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's government published a draft law Thursday to formally end Britain's membership of the EU, but opposition parties and the leaders of Scotland and Wales threatened to block what they called a "naked power-grab".

The new bill would repeal the 1972 European Communities Act, convert an estimated 12,000 existing European regulations into British law and end the supremacy of EU legislation.

"This bill means that we will be able to exit the European Union with maximum certainty, continuity and control," Davis said.

But ministers are braced for a battle over provisions that give them new powers to amend the EU laws as they are transferred without full parliamentary scrutiny.

On June 23 last year, Britons voted by the narrow majority of 52% to 48% to leave the European Union, ending 4 decades of membership of the continental fold. – Rappler.com