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Brexit talks postponed to hand negotiators more flexibility: Britain

Brexit talks postponed to hand negotiators more flexibility: Britain”

The Government is also offering to agree joint foreign policy positions with Brussels, including co-operating on worldwide sanctions against states or terrorist organisations. It is the sixth position paper by the Government in its talks with Brussels.

Underlining that Britain has the largest defence and development budgets in Europe, officials will press what they consider to be one of their strongest arguments - that the government can offer defence and security support to the EU.

"The UK and the European Commission have today jointly agreed to start the fourth round of negotiations on Sept 25", a government spokesman said in a statement.

It will say the United Kingdom has the largest defence budget and development budget in Europe, while it has also committed to invest at least 50% of development spend in fragile states and regions.

The paper highlights the UK's successful military cooperation with the European Union on tackling piracy off the Horn of Africa, to joint defence projects with the European Union - including the Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft.

The EU executive said it would analyse the British proposal but stressed its policy of not opening negotiations on its future relationship with Britain until there is more progress on settling the terms of the British withdrawal from the bloc.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has offered Brussels "a future partnership with the European Union of depth and breadth, taking in diplomacy, defence and security, and development" in an article for The Times. "It's in our mutual interest to work closely with the European Union and its member states to challenge terrorism and extremism, illegal migration, cyber-crime, and conventional state-based military aggression".

James Walsh, of the Pensions & Lifetime Savings Association, a trade body, said: "The UK and European Union have agreed that the UK will continue paying and uprating state pensions to UK citizens living in European Union countries after Brexit - and vice versa".



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