Brexit secretary David Davis demands more flexibility from Brussels as UK heads to fresh talks

Helen Cahill
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David Davis Announces Brexit Negotiations Update
The UK is embarking on its third round of negotations (Source: Getty)

The government is pushing for more flexibility from negotiators in Brussels as its heads towards the next round of Brexit talks.

The third round of negotiations will start on Monday, when Brexit secretary David Davis and the EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier meet for the opening plenary session.

Read more: The UK wants an early Brexit deal on data

The most recent set of talks ended at a standstill as Barnier accused the UK side of failing to outline its position on key points.

Since then, Davis has responded by releasing a series of position papers on topics ranging from trade to data protection.

A government spokesperson has said "neither side should drag its feet" now that the UK negotiators have published the papers.

However, Labour's shadow Brexit secretary Keir Starmer today slammed the position papers as "incoherent and inadequate", saying they have "left more questions than answers".

"David Davis is calling for more 'flexibility' and 'imagination' from Brussels but is yet to put forward a clear and serious offer on any of the key negotiating issues," Starmer said.

Read more: ECJ position paper is a pragmatic start, but business needs more safeguards

A UK government source said: "This round of negotiations will focus on thrashing out the technical detail on important matters related to us leaving the EU, and will act as a stepping stone to more substantial talks in September.

“The UK has been working diligently to inform the negotiations in the past weeks, and has published papers making clear our position on a wide range of issues from how we protect the safe flow of personal data, to the circumstances around Ireland and Northern Ireland.

“Now, both sides must be flexible and willing to compromise when it comes to solving areas where we disagree."

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