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Second round of formal talks on Brexit starts in Brussels

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Andrew Grice: Repeal Bill could seal May's fate

Having defied predictions of a heavy defeat at last month's general election - and stripped the Conservatives of their majority - Mr. Corbyn now describes his party as a "government-in-waiting".

Asked about Mr Blair's comments that Brexit followed by a Jeremy Corbyn government would leave Britain flat on its back, Mr McDonnell said: "If you listen to ordinary people in this country now, what they want is basically a Brexit that will protect their jobs and protect the economy". On Thursday afternoon, Davis and Barnier should hold a news conference, to fix publicly what has been agreed so far.

The sides have less than two years to settle terms before Britain leaves - either with a deal or without - on March 30, 2019. The open-ended transition that they propose would be a mistake as it would lead people to wonder if we were ever actually going to leave the EU.

"The European Parliament will reserve its right to reject any agreement that treats EU citizens less favourably than they are at present", the letter said.

"Barnier, the chief negotiator, said we must accept freedom of movement without exception.

This government is facing a ticking clock over the Brexit negotiations", Hammond said.

For now, the EU says May's offer to guarantee the rights of 3 million Europeans in Britain falls short.

The MEPs said the proposals also left it "unclear what the status of post-Brexit babies would be".

European Union leaders unanimously speak of rare harmony among them on how to deal with Britain so that Brexit does not unravel the European Union further. Europe has some new leaders, including France's centrist President Emmanuel Macron. But British diplomats will try to exploit divergent interests among the 27, using Britain's hefty economic clout. "I'd like to see more leadership and less followership, ' he said".

British officials recently have also brought up the idea a transitional period after the March 2019 deadline to avoid a "cliff edge" scenario when it leaves the European Union, although the length and details have yet to be determined.

The host concluded: "The phrasing I used at the beginning: incurable optimism or delusional, the reason I did that is because I think lots of people listening to you would say I allowed myself to believe the European Union reform - it never, ever happens, they carry on!"

"Secondly, there will be a significant number of people for sure who voted for him with enthusiasm, [but] I think there will be an bad lot of people who voted for him because they couldn't stomach the Tories and wanted to make a point and I'm skeptical myself that this is a coalition that's holding, particularly if it becomes clear that we're really in the same position as the Tories on Brexit".

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