Brexit talks to focus first on orderly exit

Brexit talks to focus first on orderly exit

Nearly a year since Britons voted to leave the European Union, Brexit talks finally open on Monday amid confusion over just what the United Kingdom government wants from the divorce.

Her party's lost majority, weakened negotiating hand as well as the apparent division on what Brexit means among her own cabinet is raising questions in Europe about her stability as PM. They agreed on the modalities of the negotiations, which will involve one week of talks a month, with the second round beginning on 17 July.

"If you ask me are we going to make concessions, I must tell you that it is the United Kingdom that is leaving the EU, the single market, the customs union and not the other way around", the former European commissioner and French foreign minister told a joint press conference with Davis.

Britain's Brexit minister, David Davis, said he was "encouraged" by talks at the first meeting between British and EU Brexit negotiators on Monday.

Only when "sufficient, concrete progress" on the first phase has been made will Mr Barnier recommend to the European Council that the negotiations can enter the next stage, taking in the future trading relationship, with that recommendation possibly coming at October's summit of EU leaders. Come back for continuous updates on Brexit negotiations.

"This first session was useful to start off on the right foot".

For his part, and sounding conciliatory, Johnson said as he arrived at a meeting with fellow European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg that he looked forward to "a happy revolution" in relations that would be good for Britain and the rest of Europe. May will also aim to show that while still a member of the EU, Britain will contribute to other summit discussions, pressing for more action to encourage social media companies to clamp down on internet extremism and for the EU to roll over sanctions against Russian Federation over the Ukraine crisis. "In addition, a dialogue on Ireland / Northern Ireland has been launched under the authority of the Coordinators".

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The discussions between U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis and Barnier marked the end of the beginning of what both sides expect to be a complicated and confrontational process to unwind more than four decades of membership.

One priority he laid out was the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.

"We must lift the uncertainty caused by Brexit", Mr Barnier added. If its assessment is positive, the talks will then move on to "scoping the future relationship on trade and other matters".

David denied any retreat by his government, noting that "both sets of dialogue will continue once the European Union 27 will agree that divorce talks have reached "sufficient progress".

May has pushed for a "hard Brexit" in which existing agreements over trade and free movement of people would be blown up and renegotiated. It's not about punishment, it is not about revenge. "The UK has asked to leave the European Union, not the other way around, so we each have to assume the consequences of our decisions and the consequences are substantial", he replied, when asked if the European Union was making any concessions of its own.

"I can't say whether there is a chance of that happening", Gabriel said Monday at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers. Both sides will put top advisers to work immediately on a border agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom, aiming to make sure the Irish peace agreement and the common travel area should as unaffected by Britain's European Union departure as possible.

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