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Britain says will be 'positive and constructive' in Brexit talks

Britain says will be 'positive and constructive' in Brexit talks

The announcement was agreed on Thursday between Brexit minister David Davis and the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

The Brexit secretary David Davis had previously rejected this and predicted that it would be the "row of the summer" once negotiations began. "They will make clear she can not negotiate".

Britain's historic decision to leave the 28-nation bloc has sent shockwaves through the political and economic fabric of the nation.

Two months ago, the Prime Minister could have looked forward to Britain having a strong negotiating hand on Day One of Brexit talks; now it is hard to see how her position could be any weaker.

"The danger is that however much any government tries they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal", 1990s Conservative prime minister John Major told BBC radio.

"Both for the European Union and the UK, a fair deal is possible, and far better than no deal, that is what I say to David today, that is why we will work all the time with the UK and never against the UK", Michel Barnier said at a joint press conference with his British counterpart David Davis, after wrapping up the opening salvo of the Brexit talks in Brussels.

"As we set out in the Article 50 letter, our view is that withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other", a spokesman for Britain's Brexit ministry said. First, "significant progress" would need to be made on the EU's priority issues, notably the rights of expatriate citizens and a settling financial accounts.

Speaking as he arrived for a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Luxembourg, he said: "As we go into that negotiation, my clear view - and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain - is that we should prioritise protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward".

He identified the need to "tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit first for citizens, but also for the beneficiaries of the European Union policies and for the impact on borders, in particular Ireland", as one of the negotiations' objectives.

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Last year's Brexit vote came as a profound shock to Brussels against a backdrop of rising anti-EU sentiment, with many - including now US President Donald Trump - predicting the bloc's eventual break-up. "In the long run, this will be good for the United Kingdom and good for the rest of Europe".

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also warned Tuesday that time was passing.

She herself will travel there three days later for a summit on June 22 and 23 with the other 27 European Union national leaders.

There is no need for the European Union to delay or press pause before the Brexit negotiations start.

Today's talks however are likely to focus on the practical details of timings for the coming months, with the big, divisive issues left aside for now, officials said.

The DUP is believed to be more favorable to a "soft Brexit" that would keep Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland free-flowing. They exchanged gifts - a walking stick from Barnier's native Alps for Davis, a French mountaineer's memoir in a valuable first edition from the Briton to the Frenchman. For the very first day at least, Davis and Barnier have agreed to hold a joint press briefing.

Davis, taking up the historical theme, quoted British wartime leader Winston Churchill.

Media reports suggested an agreement could be delayed into next week, but the spokesman said: "I certainly have heard nothing on this side to indicate that".

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