EU, Britain possible to strike 'fair deal'

Frederick Owens
June 20, 2017

"Then in the second step we will scope our future partnership". Amid reports that May is set to make a "generous offer" on the rights of European Union citizens remaining in Britain, the source said London had been warned against doing so this week, on the grounds that it could drag up the thorny issue before talks had really got going.

Davis, for his part, gave Barnier, who hails from the region of Savoie in the French Alps, a book on hiking.

Barnier said the two sides will have one week of negotiation every month, and use the time in between to work on proposals and exchange them.

"We want both sides to emerge strong and prosperous, capable of projecting our shared European values, leading in the world, and demonstrating our resolve to protect the security of our citizens".

However, in a press conference following the first day of Brexit talks, European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier revealed that Davis had accepted the EU's original demands.

After the Conservatives lost their majority in the House of Commons in the 8 June general election, prompting calls for May to soften her line on Brexit, Davis made clear on Monday that the United Kingdom would leave the EU, but also the single market and the custom unions - the so-called hard Brexit.

May officially triggered the two-year Brexit process in March when she was riding high in the opinion polls.

Ms May, whose future is uncertain after she lost her Conservative majority in an election this month, has insisted that trade talks start immediately and run in parallel.

"The most important thing for us is to look to the horizon, raise our eyes to the horizon".

For many Brexit advocates, those conditions would be impossible to accept as last year's referendum campaign focused on getting back control over laws and immigration from the EU.

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"We want to leave the door open to the British", German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Germany's Welt am Sonntag newspaper in remarks published Sunday.

When asked about agreeing the structure of talks, David Davis has previously said: "That'll be the row of the summer".

But officials insisted the United Kingdom would continue to push for an agreement on trade relations to be dealt with alongside a deal on the withdrawal process.

The issues at stake are daunting.

Uncertainty over the future trading relationship also means that special status in the talks has been given to discussions on how to limit the impact on peace in Northern Ireland from the creation of a new EU-UK border with the Irish Republic.

"In many cases, people's anger towards the European Union is not particular to the European Union itself". European demands for British restitution have also increased, from $67 billion a few months ago to $112 billion now.

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.

Barnier has said a divorce deal should be ready by October next year to give time for parliamentary approval - while European Union leaders want Theresa May to lay off threatening to walk out and leave a chaotic legal limbo in her wake.

Though the basic outlines of a deal could be struck in the allotted time, he said, uncertain British politics could add a challenge.

Although the Brexit secretary said he had been encouraged by the constructive approach both sides had taken, the joint press conference hinted at the difficulties ahead.

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