David Davis mocked for 'simple and easy' Brexit claim

Theresa May and Claude Juncker

Prime Minister Theresa May with European Commission president Jean Claude Juncker. Getty

Brexit Secretary David Davis said it was "frightened" and the United Kingdom would not be bounced into a divorce bill deal.

The Brexit Secretary provoked laughter from Labour MPs during his update on the talks when he claimed: "Nobody ever pretended this would be simple or easy".

He has said the divorce won't be a success for Britain, took to Twitter to complain about a London decision to delay a routine review of the EU's budget in the run-up to June's general election and was widely blamed in the United Kingdom and Germany for leaking details of a confidential dinner in April attended by him, Juncker and Prime Minister Theresa May.

The "slow progress" of Brexit talks is a "real cause for concern", MPs have been told as they discussed the latest negotiations with the EU.

"We meet worldwide obligations - also want to leave in orderly and smooth manner and in order to do that it's best to leave on amicable terms, on proper terms on negotiated terms and don't just walk away", he added. But no firm date or venue has yet been set for a speech, and we are keen to press on with negotiations. "That's why the prime minister is very, very keen to ensure we continue to pursue the domestic agenda she set out on the steps of Downing Street when she first became prime minister".

"Why does he not recognise that the only way now to give the stability and certainty to business that it requires is to say that we will remain within the current trade and market access arrangements for a transitional period, in order to allow a final deal to be negotiated?" A spokeswoman at May's office told Reuters the report, which cited an unnamed source "is simply not true". "Typically in negotiations as time goes on you see the pace pick up". "Certainly we wouldn't rule that out, but nothing has been agreed yet".

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European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker has suggested the "divorce bill" could come to around £50 billion, but other estimates put it as high as £80 billion.

May's spokeswoman said "the British people have heard those arguments".

The Brexit negotiations between London and Brussels officially started in June, and are due to be completed by March, 2019.

It's a menacing statement, so it's worth reflecting for a moment on the impact of such language on the people who's interests Barnier is supposed to be upholding - European Union citizens, and notably European Union citizens who are working in the UK. "But politically at the moment this option is not on the table".

The paper is the fifth to outline the government's vision for a future partnership and the latest to suggest Britain wants to retain much of its current relationship with the European Union while escaping its court and what it calls "huge" payments.

Parliament's Brexit Steering Group is expected to publish a comparative document containing the European Union versus the United Kingdom position on citizens' rights on Tuesday 5 September.

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