Britain eyes Brexit deal 'like no other in history'

But he said that Monday morning's terror attack in London and the devastating fires in Portugal reminded him that "there is more that unites us than divides us".

At stake in hugely complex talks that are expected to conclude by March 2019 is not just Britain's future but a western political order that would be badly shaken by a failure to reach a deal.

Britain's government has vowed to embark on a "positive and constructive" negotiation with the European Union as talks begin in Brussels.

Almost a year to the day since Britons voted on the 23 June referendum to leave its main trading partner, and nearly three months since Prime Minister Theresa May set off a two-year countdown to Brexit in March 2019, May's entire approach has been called into question after a disastrous election performance on 8 June.

Brexit negotiations which could define the UK's political and economic future have begun, with David Davis calling for a "new deep and special partnership" between Britain and Brussels.

It is thought that she will offer to safeguard the rights of these citizens to stay in exchange for equivalent rights for British nationals in the EU.

Barnier said there was agreement that the negotiators would first look at citizen's rights, the outstanding bill Britain must pay for previous European Union commitments and the Irish border issue.

Formal talks begin in BrusselsAs formal talks started over a United Kingdom exit in Brussels, the business leaders also called on the government to prioritise "right to remain" guarantees for European Union citizens in Britain and for United Kingdom expats in Europe, and to reach a final agreement on a "flexible" system to facilitate the movement of workers between the United Kingdom and the continent. "And fair means that we want to keep the British as close as possible to the European Union - but never at the price that we divide the remaining 27 European Union states".

The session will close in the late afternoon with a joint press conference by Davis and Michel Barnier.

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The official demanded anonymity because the official was not authorized to be named discussing the deliberations. Special counsel Robert Mueller is leading an investigation into collusion between Trump associates and Moscow.

But he made clear that only when the other 27 member states are satisfied that sufficient progress is being made on this issue that the talks can move on to the future trade relationship.

Macron, a committed pro-EU leader and ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, easily won French legislative elections on Sunday, cementing his power base.

Anxious by mass immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain past year voted to end its decades-old membership of the 28-nation bloc in a shock referendum result.

But some aspects of this might prove controversial with the British government and public, including the idea that EU citizens should retain their right to have a non-EU spouse join them in Britain, and the demand that the EU courts should oversee the rights of EU citizens in Britain.

Monday's talks however are likely to focus on the practical details of timings for the coming months, with the big, divisive issues left aside for now, officials said.

"We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit", said Barnier, a former French minister, as he greeted Davis at the European Commission's Berlaymont Building headquarters.

Mr Hammond emphasised that leaving the EU meant the country would leave the single market and the customs union.

"It's a statement of common sense that if we are going to radically change the way we work together, we need to get there via a slope, not a cliff edge", he said.

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