LONDON, April 26 Britain will not seek to take a
divide and rule approach with the other 27 member states of the
European Union in upcoming Brexit negotiations, Brexit minister
David Davis said on Wednesday.
The remaining member states are due to meet at a summit on
April 29 to endorse a common position, before negotiations begin
in earnest after Britain's June 8 election.
"There have been some suggestions that the UK might now seek
to take a divide and rule approach to the union in the upcoming
negotiations, far from it," Davis told an audience of business
people at a conference in London.
"We want the negotiations to be swift and effective ...
Given the subject matter is complex and time is tight, the unity
of the European Union will therefore be important for both
Davis said Britain should be under no illusions about the
scale of the task ahead within the two-year negotiating time
frame set out under Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty.
"We are re-shaping Britain's place in the world. Securing an
agreement with the EU within the two-year period about our
withdrawal and the shape of our future relationship will be
challenging. We will have difficult issues to confront,
compromise will be necessary on both sides," he said.
He also said Britain was seeking to ensure a smooth and
stable transition as it leaves the EU, but would need to take an
"intelligent approach" to regulation in the years ahead.
"We must avoid unnecessary burdens on business, but we also
want to make sure that our approach maintains or ensures new
access to markets from Croatia to California, the regulations
must have that in mind," he said.
(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan and Huw Jones, editing by David
Milliken and Guy Faulconbridge)