Brexit Minister: No Doubt Britain Leaving EU

Cheryl Sanders
June 20, 2017

In particular, some agreement must be reached on issues including how much money Britain owes to Brussels on departure, and on the rights of European Union citizens living in Britain after Brexit, before talks on a future trading and political relationship can begin.

May's government said in a statement it was "confident it can achieve a bold and ambitious deal that will work in the interest of the whole U.K".

Brexit Secretary David Davis will meet with the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier tomorrow morning.

"Obviously this is the first day of the talks on Brexit and I think the most important thing is we should all start - of course there'll be lots of discussions about the nature of the deal we are going to do - but I think we should also enter on the discussion about money and so forth", he said.

After the initial shock of last year's Brexit vote, the bloc at 27 appears to have steadied in recent months and got a real boost with the election of new French President Emmanuel Macron in May.

Earlier, Boris Johnson said the talks would lead to a happy outcome for both sides.

'We are starting with a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special relationship'.

"The UK will remain a committed partner and ally of our friends across the continent", Davis said.

In addition, unidentified sources told The Times that Hammond would urge the government to rethink its plan to leave the trade group, which guarantees tariff-free trade with other members but bans trade deals with third parties. Back then, Prime Minister Theresa May was still talking as though Britain held all the cards.

Other officials around the table include Glyn Williams, director-general at the Home Office, who will bring his expertise on immigration issues, and Catherine Webb, a former treasury official, who is director of Market Access at DExEU.

Mr Davis's agreement to Monday's agenda led some European Union officials to believe that Mrs May's government may at last coming around to Brussels' view of how negotiations should be run.

Sky News understands that the United Kingdom team has spent the weekend finalising their negotiating strategy which has been called into question following the unexpected election result.

But EU officials have warned her off trying to do this at an EU summit this Thursday, saying it is too soon. "But we want to keep the door open for the British".

Mr Barnier, a keen mountaineer, spent the weekend in his native Alps "to draw the strength and energy needed for long walks".

"We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", he said in Luxembourg last week.

Three key issues will dominate the first phase of the talks.

The EU has set three priority areas: Britain's exit bill, the rights of EU citizens living in Britain, and Northern Ireland.

Those were, he said, the rights of expatriate citizens and problems of a new EU- UK border, notably cutting across Ireland.

Given the Conservatives' diminished political influence, the scenario of the "soft Brexit", which implies the preservation of UK's membership in the single European Union market, or some other variant of compromise, is becoming likely.

Once agreement has been made in this phase of the talks, the second phase discussing the future trade relationship can begin.

Other reports by iNewsToday