United Kingdom sees 'happy' Brexit outcome for both sides, Boris Johnson says

Frederick Owens
June 19, 2017

However, Britain's negotiating leverage is, arguably at its weakest level in more than a decade after a shambolic snap election result for Prime Minister Theresa May, which surrendered her parliamentary majority and has left her floundering to cut a deal with lawmakers in Northern Ireland in order to stabilize her government, and the ongoing weakness of the economy in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Speaking alongside EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier as they arrived for talks at the European Commission, Mr Davis said he expected "challenging times ahead" in talks expected to stretch for around 16-18 months ahead of the UK's withdrawal from the EU in 2019.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told Sunday's Welt am Sonntag newspaper that "maybe there is now a chance to achieve a so-called "soft Brexit.'" But he said staying in the European Union single market would require Britain to accept European Union workers" freedom of movement.

"Our big problem is that we have no picture, no idea at all, what the British want", said German Manfred Weber, the head of the EPP Christian Democrat group in the European Parliament.

A member of protocol changes the EU and British flags prior to the arrival of EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier and British Secretary of State David Davis at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday, June 19, 2017.

Still, the 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 United Kingdom".

The EU said it was also looking for a good compromise.

Labour Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer said Britain would leave the EU, but membership of the customs union should still be "on the table" - this membership would stop Britain from signing free trade deals with other non-EU countries.

More news: Fugitive polygamous sect leader arrested in South Dakota

"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".

Reflecting on Britain's longtime European Union membership, Davis says that "there is more that unites us than divides us" despite the June 23, 2016 referendum in which Britain made a decision to break away from the 27 other member nations.

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

Even Ms May's own immediate political survival is in doubt, 10 days after she lost her majority in an election.

While EU officials assume that Britain still wants to leave the EU completely, in line with the plan Mrs May's outlined in January, there are other options being planned.

Johnson called on people to look at the more distant future.

Sounding conciliatory, Britain's Boris Johnson said as he arrived at a meeting with fellow European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg that he looked forward to "a happy revolution" in relations that would be good for Britain and the rest of Europe.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER