Mood on First Day of Brexit Talks Was 'Incredibly Positive': UK Source

Frederick Owens
June 20, 2017

Davis said he was looking for a "positive and constructive tone" to deal with the myriad issues dividing both sides.

Jean-Claude Juncker: The European Commission president will not be directly involved in talks and his spokesman has said he is unlikely to spend more than half an hour a week on Brexit.

"My clear view - and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain - is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward", he said last week.

Day One of the negotiations will be followed by a joint press conference later by Davis and Barnier.

The UK Government said in a press release that Davis is "confident that he can get a positive outcome and secure a new deep and special partnership with the European Union". The move backfired, May lost her Conservative majority in the vote and has been fending off critics of her leadership ever since.

Davis said both sides were "off to a promising start" even though the challenges ahead were daunting.

The talks in Brussels consist of an opening session with both Mr Davis and Mr Barnier each joined by a large team of officials.

"And while there is a long road ahead, our destination is clear - a deep and special partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU".

"They can be more relaxed about Britain crashing out without a deal that could destabilize the E.U. economy and destabilize the euro zone", said Charles Grant, the director of the Centre for European Reform, a London-based think tank.

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Johnson urged Europeans to look at the more distant future.

In the political turmoil following last week's inconclusive General Election, there have been reports that senior ministers including the Chancellor Phillip Hammond are pressing for a new approach to leaving the EU.

Other issues that have to be sorted include the status of the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.

Three days after the talks begin, May is due to travel to Brussels for an European Union summit - a chance for the other 27 leaders to take stock of their negotiating partner in the sharply altered climate brought about by the dramas of the past two weeks.

With discontent in europhile Scotland and troubled Northern Ireland, which faces a new European Union border across the divided island, Brexit poses new threats to the integrity of the UK.

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.

The first issue at the Brussels talks will be the status of millions of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and British residents of the other 27 countries, including their right to stay, to work, and to access medical care.

He added: "It's not as if Europe is leaving Britain; Britain wants to leave the EU".

He was referring to a potential bill which the Union puts at tens of billions of euros, partly to cover a share of future EU budget commitments made while Britain was a member. "But we want to keep the door open for the British".

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