Finally, Britain kicks off Brexit negotiations with EU

Finally, Britain kicks off Brexit negotiations with EU

Finally, Britain kicks off Brexit negotiations with EU

Brexit Secretary David Davis arrived in Brussels on Monday to launch talks he hoped would produce a "new, deep and special partnership" with the EU in the interest of Britons and all Europeans.

"We launch negotiations in a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves and our European allies and friends in the future".

Five of the UK's leading business organisations are calling for the government to maintain access to the Single Market and Customs Union until a Brexit deal is reached and to prioritise the rights of EU citizens in the UK.

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After ten months of planning, Davis will meet with the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier to agree the structure of the negotiations ahead, so officials have a framework within which to discuss substantive issues.

His priority, he said, was to clear up the uncertainties which last June's Brexit vote had created.

A key issue he did not mention was the EU's bill for Britain to leave, which Brussels estimates at a colossal 100 billion euros.

They also said their top deputies would immediately begin work on a third issue: How to avoid a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland that could endanger peace in a region that suffered decades of violence.

The Chancellor admitted that a no-deal Brexit would be "very, very bad" for the British, but said a deal that would "suck the lifeblood out of our economy" was a worse prospect.

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A general election wiped out May's parliamentary majority earlier this month and her position has been weakened further in the wake of a deadly fire in a London apartment building.

Reflecting on Britain's longtime European Union membership, Davis says that "there is more that unites us than divides us" despite the June 23, 2016 referendum in which Britain chose to break away from the 27 other member nations.

A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: "We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account". In March, giving formal notice it was leaving, she even warned that unless Britain received favourable terms there could be consequences for security and counter-intelligence co-operation.

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

"We're leaving the EU and because we are leaving the EU, we will be leaving the single market and by the way, we will be leaving the customs union".

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

He called for a transition deal to be in place to avoid businesses being affected by a "cliff edge" scenario as the United Kingdom leaves.

Amid reports that May is set to make a "generous offer" on the rights of European Union citizens remaining in Britain, the source said London had been warned against doing so this week, on the grounds that it could drag up the thorny issue before talks had really got going.

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