May says she will be 'robust' in Brexit talks

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Brussels would do so if it feels it would take too long to launch legal action to settle a dispute.

But Mr Rees-Mogg, speaking on the eve of the first of two crucial meetings of the so-called "Brexit war cabinet" of senior ministers, told Sky News: It's not something we could accept.

He added that if the European Union continues its posturing, "we may have to walk away" from the Brexit negotiations.

Even pro-Remain MPs hit out at the proposal, with leading Labour MP Chuka Umunna claiming a transition period was beginning to look less like building a bridge and more like being made to walk the plank.

The BCC repeated its call for a transition period preserving the "status quo" of UK-EU relations, but pressed the Government to reveal what form of future relationship it will seek with the bloc.

Britain wants the period to give businesses time to prepare for life outside the bloc.

"In addition to the elements contained in the Joint report of 8 December 2017, the Financial Provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement should also cover the financing, during the transition period, of the relevant Common Foreign and Security Policy and Common Security and Defense Policy agencies or operations on the basis of the same contribution key as before the withdrawal date", the EU's executive arm said in the document, which was provided to member states.

"Now we've set out a clear position in the Lancaster House speech, the Article 50 letter, the Florence speech, all of these show the same principles underpinning what we want to do when we leave the European Union, which is to ensure that we get a good deal for our trading in goods and services".

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A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: This is a draft document produced by the EU that simply reflects their stated directives.

But last week May signalled she planned to fight the EU over some of the conditions, and the United Kingdom raised objections on Tuesday to seven aspects of the European Commission's position, according to another person familiar with the situation.

"Together these provide a solid foundation for the negotiations on the implementation period which have begun this week with the aim of reaching agreement" by the European Council meeting in March.

In his ruling, the presiding judge said he will ask the European court preliminary questions about what the consequences of a Brexit would be for EU citizenship and the rights which EU citizenship brings.

The draft treaty would allow Britain to merely "watch" the development of law, "strictly at the EU's invitation". EU law dictates that there will be a physical border between the two Irelands if Britain leaves the customs union.

"Thank heavens we are leaving an organisation that takes such an aggressive stance when you don't do what you are told", he told The Times newspaper.

Business leaders say "patience is wearing thin" with government dithering.