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Talks with EU making progress : Brexit envoy

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EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, right, and British Secretary of State David Davis address the media prior to a meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday.

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29th-Sep-2017       
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AP, Brussels :
 Britain's Brexit negotiator David Davis says talks with the European Union on his country's departure from the bloc are making progress, following a fourth round of negotiations in Brussels.
Davis told reporters Thursday that "we are making decisive steps forward."
He said that, in particular, a lot of progress has been made on ensuring the rights of citizens who will be hit by Britain's departure, due on March 29, 2019.
Meanwhile,EU President Donald Tusk on Tuesday slapped down Prime Minister Theresa May's bid to unlock negotiations on future ties between Britain and the EU, saying there was "no sufficient progress" so far.
"We will discuss our future relations with the UK once there is so-called sufficient progress," Tusk told reporters outside May's Downing Street office after meeting a two-hour meeting with her.
"If you ask me today... I would say there is no sufficient progress yet but we will work on it". British and EU officials are locked in a fourth round of negotiations this week ahead of a European summit in October that will decide whether "sufficient progress" has been made on divorce talks.
But Tusk praised a key speech by May last week in which she pledged legal guarantees for EU citizens living in Britain and offered to continue paying into the EU budget during a transition period of up to two years after Britain leaves the EU in 2019.
Tusk said the tone was "constructive and more realistic", adding: "The philosophy of having the cake and eating it is finally coming at an end."
The latter was a reference to a phrase used by hardline Brexit supporters in Britain including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson about what the government's approach to negotiations should be.
Firebrand Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, former leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), reacted angrily.
"Time we were free of these tin-pot dictators. Nothing will ever be good enough," he said. The EU has decided that current negotiations should aim to resolve the status of EU citizens living in Britain; the bill Britain will have to pay for the divorce; and the question of what should happen to the Ireland-Northern Ireland border after Brexit.

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