London and Brussels will start negotiations on a Brexit 19 Jun

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 20, 2017

The first formal negotiations took place just short of a year after British voters narrowly made a decision to leave the European Union, which was long a source of love-hate angst in British politics.

Backers of the British divorce admitted after the vote that they had no road map.

If no trade deal has been reached by this point, UK-EU relations could be governed by a "transitional arrangement" for some months or years.

"The elections were bad for May but I don't think the fundamental dynamics of the Brexit negotiations will change because of that", Stefan Auer, associate professor in European Studies at the University of Hong Kong, told CNBC on Monday.

During the first day of talks, Mr Davis will say that the UK's desired "destination is clear - a deep and special partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU".

Barnier was less warm as he welcomed Davis.

Those issues are Britain's exit bill, estimated by Brussels at around 100 billion euros ($112 billion), the rights of three million European Union nationals living in Britain and one million Britons on the continent, and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Mr McDonnell told Sophy Ridge on Sunday: "Well I'm afraid the problem with the Brexit talks is that we have a Government in disarray".

European leaders have repeatedly said that Britain need not go through with its plans for divorce - although they have been tough about what a split would mean if it happens.

Echoing Barnier, British Brexit minister David Davis applauded the "very productive discussions", saying, "I've been encouraged by the constructive approach that both sides have taken". And most European political observers saw the first day as a capitulation.

The issues at stake are daunting.

Speaking on Sky News, he said: "Well I don't think we should take that up, I don't think it is a serious proposal". Britain wants to leave the common market and abjure free movement of European citizens across borders, yet still enjoy privileged market access.

The situation is very different from 12 months ago when the Brexiteers were riding high, with Prime Minister Theresa May's entire approach called into question after a disastrous election performance on June 8.

The EU appear to have claimed the first victory of the talks.

"Meanwhile Prince Andrew, Queen Elizabeth II's second son, who works to encourage British economic growth, warned of years of "uncertainty and difficulty and upheaval" following Brexit".

The Queen's Speech sets out details of extensive UK Government legislation required to put Brexit into effect, expected to include a Great Repeal Bill bringing European Union laws and regulations onto the British statute book, as well as bills on issues including immigration and customs. The UK is going to leave the EU, the single market and the Customs Union, not the other way around.

Up for debate in London now is whether to safeguard trade, perhaps by staying in the bloc's tariff-free customs union temporarily or trying to win concessions on commerce by giving ground on immigration or the power of the European Court of Justice.

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

Summer - Negotiations on the Brexit deal expected to continue in Brussels, with the Davis and Barnier teams meeting for one week in each month, before returning to base to report back and develop their positions.

"We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", Hammond said as he arrived for a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Luxembourg.

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

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