EU's Barnier Hopes to Remove Brexit Uncertainties as Talks Begin

Xavier Trudeau
Juin 20, 2017

Those issues are Britain's exit bill, estimated by Brussels at around 100 billion euros ($112 billion), the rights of three million European Union nationals living in Britain and one million Britons on the continent, and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The first day of the negotiations began at the European Commission offices in Brussels.

TRT World's Simon McGregor-Wood reports. And just over a month ago, Mr Davis said dealing with the issue of how the talks would unfold would be the "row of the summer". The EU treaties have set a timeline of two years for the exit, which means that at the end of March 2019, the United Kingdom will leave the EU.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she hopes for a "good agreement" after Brexit talks in which 27 European Union countries will listen carefully to what Britain wants but also defend their own interests.

Aviation insurers have launched a model contract continuation clause to keep policies in place after Britain leaves the European Union, trade body the International Underwriting Association said on Monday.

Anxious by immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britons voted last June to become the first nation ever to leave the 28-nation EU.

"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. We must secure a deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom, and enables us to become a truly global Britain".

"The new Northern Irish executive needs to be set up in a few days' time, at the same time we have a new government and a new Taoiseach in Dublin and of course there are the ongoing political discussion in London which we are also following closely".

The two sides agreed to hold four further monthly rounds of talks, with the next on July 17, on the key issues of Britain's divorce from the bloc. He said he views the talks with "informed optimism".

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday he still thinks that the Brexit negotiations will yield "a happy resolution that can be done with profit and honor for both sides".

Davis and Barnier will meet monthly. In a nod to the difficulty of that issue, Mr Davis said it took up more time "than anything else".

Merkel spoke after meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who also stressed the 27 European Union countries' unity.

"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.

The historic talks on how the United Kingdom and the European Union will go separate ways in 2019 kicked off on Monday (19 June) with the two sides agreeing on a timetable, structure and priorities.

Yet many in Brussels fear that London has no real strategy, with May under pressure at home, still trying to close a deal with a conservative Northern Ireland party to stay in power, and facing criticism for her handling of the aftermath of a devastating tower block fire.

Mr Barnier has expressed his desire to finish talks by October 2018.

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