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Finally, Britain kicks off Brexit negotiations with EU

Finally, Britain kicks off Brexit negotiations with EU”

Barnier said he hoped the talks, starting nearly a year to the day after a British referendum vote to leave the EU, would "identify priorities and a timetable that would allow me to report to the European Council later this week that we had a constructive opening of negotiations".

But a week ago Mr Davis said "we will start down this process but I will have some discussions with Mr Barnier about how we progress" to trade talks.

At one point, officials took a short break to smile and pose for photographs holding gifts.

Meanwhile Barnier, a former French minister, insisted the talks must first address the "uncertainties" caused by Brexit. Davis gave Barnier a book about hiking.

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

The talks expected to stretch for 16-18 months ahead of the UK's withdrawal from the European Union in 2019.

May had called the vote to crush opposition to her vision for Brexit, so having warned on the campaign trail of a "weak and unstable prime minister" heading into negotiations, May is discovering the description applies to her.

The EU said it was also looking for a good compromise.

"We need back control of our borders, we will leave the single market and the customs union." he said.

"There will be no austerity on my side, I will display a constructive attitude firmly based on interests and support of the (EU) 27, and I will all the time seek to the continued support of the European Parliament", he said.

But Davis, the British negotiator, told reporters Monday that he flatly rejected those offers. It could also attempt to negotiate an entirely new trade deal. Because of the Brexit talks, next year's speech has been cancelled as the government announced the unusual measure of extending the next parliamentary session over two years, instead of the usual one.

They will first have to unravel the British from the European Union, which will be challenging to say the least.

If the United Kingdom opts for a Brexit in which it leaves the Single Market and the Customs Union, the Irish border would become a closed border unless negotiators can agree on creative solutions.

Britain's Brexit position has been thrown into chaos since Theresa May sensationally lost her majority earlier this month, with European leaders now unclear whether or not the country will still leave the single market. Newspaper reports suggest some in her party are already considering ways to topple her, with Davis mentioned as a possible successor. That agreement, which largely put a stop to decades of sectarian violence, dissolved any visible signs of border between the two.

"I think the whole process will lead to a happy resolution which can be done with honour and profit to both sides", Johnson said as he went into an European Union foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg.

More broadly, Brexit talks will have to address a range of regulatory issues, including laws about worker rights, climate and agriculture.

After seven hours of talks in Brussels, Mr Davis - who had previously promised the "row of the summer" over the timetable for the negotiations - said he was optimistic about the talks. I am determined." Davis channelled Winston Churchill: "The pessimist see difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.

"This is a technically hard issue, but it is one which I am certain is solvable although it will probably take us to the end of the process when we will have decided what our customs and free trade arrangements are".



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