Brexit negotiations begin as David Davis heads to Brussels

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

Formal Brexit negotiations between Britain and the European Union begin Monday.

Barnier says the two sides must reach agreement on a deal by October 2018, to give the European and British parliaments time to ratify the deal by Brexit Day in March 2019. "First for citizens, also for beneficiaries of European Union policies and the impact on borders, in particular Ireland".

Here are the key questions surrounding the Brexit negotiations.

He said: "No deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain, but there is a possible worse outcome and that is a deal that is deliberately structured to suck the lifeblood out of our economy over a period of time".

Davis said the talks would be carried out in "a positive and constructive tone", with Britain looking to forge a "strong and special partnership for the future".

They will hold more than seven hours of official talks.

He also said that a timetable for Brexit would be outlined in the talks on Monday. But officials stress that the opening day is mainly to demonstrate that Brexit remains on track.

Since the referendum result last June, we have received enquiries from British contractors working in the European Union concerned about their status.

The British government wants the negotiations to include the future relationship with Europe and an all-important trade deal with the bloc.

The EU negotiator told reporters: "Today we are launching the negotiations on the orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU".

A Whitehall source said last night: "This is a clear sign that the Commission has caved in to our highly determined negotiators who have been supported throughout by the Irish". Both say they want a reciprocal agreement although the Europeans say the British side does not appear to appreciate just what that involves.

The European Parliament's chosen negotiator, former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, has also said the public vote on June 23rd 2016 could be reversed - although he warned that the door to reentry would be "A brand new door with a new Europe, a Europe without rebates, without complexity, with real power and with unity".

A closing session between Barnier and Davis will start at 5.30pm, before they again emerge to brief the world's media at a press conference in the European commission's Berlaymont building. If she waters down her exit strategy - as her predecessor, David Cameron, has urged her to consider - that could set off a rebellion from hard-line "leave" supporters, including David Davis, the Cabinet minister responsible for negotiating Britain's withdrawal, and the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson.

"So we're getting on with that, I and the Government are getting on with that job".

Labour has overtaken the Tories in popularity following the shock election result, while four in 10 people think Mrs May should resign, a new poll suggests. "That's we are hoping for".

"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 a separate meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Luxembourg.

The talks will address a number of issues, including how much money Britain will owe the political and economic union, the rights of British citizens in the EU and EU citizens in Britain, and how to minimize the effects of the split on the fragile peace between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

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