Brexit Talks Begin With Tight Schedule Set and Divorce-Bill Disagreement

Mr Davis, a prominent tough-talking figure in the "Leave" campaign, sounded a positive note, saying that while there would "undoubtedly be challenging times ahead", he wanted a good relationship with the EU.

While May has repeatedly said she wants a special and deep partnership with the club Britain joined in 1973, she has also laced her assurances with threats that a breakdown of talks could harm security cooperation.

European Commission official Mr Barnier warned the United Kingdom faced "substantial" consequences as a result of Brexit but insisted it was "not about punishment" or revenge.

The pound is slightly higher against the dollar and the euro after a few hours of trade in London on Monday morning, with Britain set to begin official Brexit negotiations with the European Union.

However, it faces the prospect of delivering a Queen's speech while still thrashing out a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

Under EU rules, Britain's departure date from the union is set for spring 2019 unless extended by mutual agreement. He did, however, concede that no deal would be "very, very bad for Britain".

"It's not when it starts it's how it finishes that matters", he said.

The Department for Exiting the EU (DExEU) said it had been "crystal clear" about its approach to Brexit talks.

"They should be agreed alongside each other, this is completely consistent with the Council's guidelines which state nothing is agreed until everything is agreed".

Here are the key questions surrounding the Brexit negotiations. But as you say, the vision of Brexit that Theresa May presented to the electorate has been more or less rejected by the public. "It's not about punishment, it's not about revenge".

"We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account", the spokesman said.

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 single market would require Britain to accept European Union workers" freedom of movement.

"And the consequences are substantial".

'The UK will remain a committed partner and ally of our friends across the continent. The talks will be hard, but he is expecting that all points will be approached in a constructive way. "The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty".

"There is a long way to go, but we are off to a promising start". Beyond the politics, we need to put the economy first.

Davis and Barnier will hold a press conference later on Monday.

Talks with the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will focus on the status of expats, the UK's "divorce bill" and the Northern Ireland border.

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.

The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, known by its German initials VDMA, says that that goal of the two-year negotiating process is "damage limitation" because Brexit won't benefit either side. Both sides need an agreement to keep trade flowing between the world's biggest trading bloc and the fifth largest global economy.

The EU side has said that this willonly happen when "sufficient progress" has been made on phase one and that they will determine the level of progress.

"I look forward to beginning work on that new future".

She told BBC One's Sunday Politics: "Where you have politicians right across the European Union and the United Kingdom who share the desire for a successful outcome, with low tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, free trade between ourselves, co-operation on security and so on, it should be perfectly possible to meet the time frame".

  • Leroy Wright