Asked if the “weakness of your negotiating position” had been exposed, Mr Davis put on a brave face, claiming: “It’s not when it starts but how it finishes that matters.” Ahead of the opening day, the UK had also promised to unveil a “generous offer” to end the row over the future rights of three million EU citizens in the UK and 1.2 million British ex-pats in the EU.
However, Mr Davis said the offer would not be published until next Monday, after Theresa May briefs EU leaders on her intentions at a summit at the end of this week.
The 2010 divorce figure was one of the first increases in several years and as we previously reported , was up 4.9% on the 2009 total. Interesting to compare these to the marriage statistics too - but we won't get the full stats from the ONS until next year.
If you look at where the line goes up there's an interesting - if small - trend: there are peaks in the early 1980s, 1990s, 2000s and the increase in 2010 before the slight drop with the 2011 rate. The data is below - check out the attached spreadsheet for loads more, including details about children and causes.
It has long been rumoured that the debate has been avoided – because of the Prime Minister’s fears that doing so would open up splits and risk damaging resignations.
Boris Johnson and Michael Gove are arguing for a clean break from the EU’s economic structures, while the likes of Mr Hammond want much deeper access, even at the price of adopting more EU rules and regulations.
The move appeared to clear the way for talks on future trade and a transitional deal to get underway – provided guarantees are also given on avoiding a hard Irish border.
No figure has been revealed and the exact sum will not be known for many years, because it depends on future pensions and development projects, but it is expected to be at least £45bn.
Further rows are expected over the cut-off date for granting rights and whether EU citizens can bring in relatives in perpetuity, including from third countries.
Significantly, Mr Davis said he would tell Labour and other parties about the Government’s plans in advance – reflecting its weak position, with no Commons majority.
The number of divorces in England and Wales have slightly increased- as shown by the latest figures out today from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showing a total of 118,140 divorces in 2012 - an increase of 0.5% since 2011.
According to the release in 2012 - the latest year published - there were a total of 118,140 divorces, a slight increase on 2011, when there were 117,558.
In a major defeat, Brexit Secretary David Davis was forced to drop his central demand for the two strands of the negotiations to be staged in parallel, within hours of arriving in Brussels.