Britain Kicks Off Brexit Talks With European Union

Britain Kicks Off Brexit Talks With European Union

Britain Kicks Off Brexit Talks With European Union

"I hope today we can identify priorities and a timetable that would allow me to report to the European Council (summit) later this week that we had a constructive opening of negotiations", added the former European commissioner and French foreign minister, speaking against a backdrop of British and EU flags.

One of the goals of London is to seal a trade agreement between the two parties, which the British government was confident of negotiating in parallel with the exit talks, but this is a point not welcomed by Brussels.

His remarks obviously alluded to British Prime Minister Theresa May's catchphrase "no deal is better than bad deal".

The two men will meet for a week every month to negotiate, and use the time in between to "work on proposals".

"It's important to remember that negotiations on some of the most crucial business issues, such as the nature of the future UK-EU trading relationship, won't begin straight away".

Davis joked that he and Barnier had coordinated the quotes they cited during the joint press conference.

He insisted that his position was "completely consistent with the long-standing position" of his government, and that what matters is how the negotiation will end, not how it started.

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"It's not when it starts it's how it finishes that matters", he said.

"Today we agreed on dates, on organisation and on priorities for the negotiation".

"We must lift the uncertainty caused by Brexit, we want to make sure that the withdrawal of the United Kingdom happens in an orderly manner, then in a second step we will scope our future partnership", the French politician said.

President Tajani said: "The European Parliament's position is clear".

Theresa May said political unity was integral for Britain to exit from the EU.

"It's not about punishment, it is not about revenge". EU leaders want May to lay off threats that she would walk out and leave a chaotic legal limbo for all Europeans.

He added: "The United Kingdom has chose to leave the European Union, it is not the other way around".

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While "Brexiteers" like Davis have strongly backed May's proposed clean break with the single market and customs union, finance minister Philip Hammond and others have this month echoed calls by businesses for less of a "hard Brexit" and retaining closer customs ties. So, we each have to assume our responsibility and the consequences of our decisions.

"And the consequences are substantial". The EU said it was also looking for a good compromise. "The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty".

With discontent in europhile Scotland and troubled Northern Ireland, which faces a new European Union border across the divided island, Brexit poses new threats to the integrity of the United Kingdom.

"The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust", rather than tackle the big hard issues right at the start, a European source said.

They said discussions would be split into three stages: citizen rights, the single financial settlement and other separation issues.

"As Brexit talks commence, United Kingdom firms want practical economic issues to be at the heart of the negotiations".

London agreed that "English and French will be used as working language". Both sides want transparency to be the default.

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