Tory deal may breach Good Friday pact

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Britain's historic decision to leave the 28-nation bloc has sent shockwaves through the political and economic fabric of the nation.

The European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has insisted initial talks will focus on the status of EU nationals in the United Kingdom and Britons in the EU, as well as the "divorce bill" of upwards of £60 billion and the issue of the Northern Ireland border with the Republic. Anxious by mass immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain previous year voted to end its decades-old membership of the 28-nation bloc in a shock referendum result.

But some opposition politicians say that May can no longer stick to her stance for a clean break with the European Union, characterising her election bid as a poor gamble that has left Britain a laughing stock.

A Conservative source said this meant the party was "confident" it had enough votes for the programme to be approved, after May suffered a disastrous setback in snap elections a week ago that saw her lose her majority in the 650-seat House of Commons, just ahead of crucial Brexit negotiations with Brussels.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams has told UK Prime Minister Theresa May that she is in breach of the Good Friday Agreement over her bid to get an agreement with the DUP to get into government.

But she now faces growing opposition at home to this, and her threats to walk away without a deal, in the wake of this month's general election in which she lost her centre-right Conservative party's parliamentary majority.

But his planned address, along with Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, was cancelled after the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

- Softer strategy on Brexit?

Thus whether Brexit can be halted or not depends primarily on the UK's government and people.

Mr Davis will declare his desire for Britain and the European Union to emerge strong and prosperous.

Before the election, May proposed a clean break from the European Union: leaving its single market, which enshrines free movement of people, goods, services and capital, and proposing limits on immigration and a bespoke customs deal with the EU. "That's a statement of legal fact", he told BBC television.

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"As we enter negotiations next week we will do so in a spirit of honest cooperation, taking a pragmatic approach, trying to find a solution that works" for Britain and the European Union, he said.

But Hammond said transitional arrangements would be necessary, to give business greater certainty.

Davis plans to go to Brussels on Monday to start the negotiations, which will reshape not only Britain's role in the world, but also that of a bloc praised for ensuring peace after World War Two.

That the British were ready to break negotiations down on the lines of priorities identified by Brussels implied, he said, a willingness to start a first phase of divorce talks before moving on next year to a second phase on the new free trade relationship May wants - a "sequencing" London has disputed.

Britain's Department for Exiting the European Union denied that the country has given up on its aim of discussing all aspects of its departure and future relations simultaneously.

From the standpoint of British politics, it is possible that EEA membership will become the lodestar steering Brexit negotiations in the months ahead. "A deal like no other in history". We're looking forward very much to getting going on Monday.

How Ireland will look post-Brexit could be one of the most sensitive subject of the upcoming talks.

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