EU's Barnier assures Britons of compromises on Brexit

Cheryl Sanders
June 22, 2017

He said: "If all went well, the two parties may want to remarry even before they have divorced".

After the first day of the crucial negotiations which have the potential to shape the UK's economic and political future for a generation, it was agreed that working groups of officials would aim to make progress on the issues of citizens' rights, the UK's financial settlement, the so-called divorce bill, and other issues to do with separation.

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.

Davis said the talks were off to a "promising start" and denied that Britain had caved in on the sequencing of the talks.

Davis was heartened by the spirit of the talks, during which the negotiators, both interested in mountaineering, exchanged a walking stick and a hiking book.

Soros said Britain's eventual exit from the European Union would take at least five years to complete, during which the country would probably hold another election.

Still, it's a role reversal for Britain, which had been buoyed by strong growth in recent times - even after the momentous vote on June 23, 2016 to leave the EU.

"The question then will be: is it better to have freedom to strike new deals across the world or are we better off staying with deals that are struck by the EU?"

She had called the early vote herself, saying it was to strengthen her mandate in the Brexit talks.

In remarks that have come back to haunt her, she also warned voters: "Britain simply will not get the right Brexit deal if we have the drift and division of a hung parliament".

Uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the Brexit talks, such as the possibility that Britain crashes out of the European Union with no trade deal, is also likely to make consumers cautious.

According to The Times, Labour is planning an alternative "workers Brexit" amendment to the speech, which is nearly certain to fail.

The two sides will hold four further monthly rounds of talks, with the next on July 17, with the aim of getting the remaining 27 European Union countries to agree this autumn to move on to the trade talks phase.

Davis said Prime Minister May will also set out at an EU summit on Thursday her proposals for the rights of the three million EU nationals living in Britain, and one million Britons in the EU, with the British government to publish a detailed offer next Monday.

"The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust", rather than tackle the big hard issues right at the start, a European source said.

The guidelines for the Brexit talks adopted by the European Union list three main priorities: securing the rights of European Union nationals in the United Kingdom; collecting Britain's financial dues; and avoiding a hard border between the Republic of Ireland, which is an European Union member state, and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, should be avoided.

"I would like us to get a good agreement that is in both sides' interests".

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