EU, Britain possible to strike "fair deal": EU chief negotiator

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.

Top negotiators Barnier and Davis have declared the talks have gotten off to a "promising start".

"They seem to spend more time complaining about what Britain says rather than cracking on with a deal that will produce a strong Britain and strong European Union".

The two sides have until March 2019 to complete and ratify a deal on the U.K.'s divorce from the European Union after more than four decades of membership and to try to shape a future partnership between Britain and its neighbors.

In their June 2016 referendum, the majority of the British citizens voted in favor of Brexit (51.9% to 48.1%).

In his first major comments in six weeks, he also said he wanted to see how the economy responded to the "reality of Brexit negotiations".

The Sun, which backed May's center-right Conservatives in a June 8 election that cost her her parliamentary majority, also noted Davis had gone along with Brussels' plans after saying he would make getting immediate trade talks "the fight of the summer".

Davis and Barnier are expected to begin talks on Monday by outlining their priorities for Britain's departure from the European Union and a timetable for discussions.

The legal status and rights of European Union nationals is one of the thornier issues within the morass of Britain's exit from the bloc, which started with talks between negotiators in Brussels on Monday.

He hailed that the the first session was "important", "open", and "useful indeed to start off on the right foot as the clock is ticking". And it was useful for me to sit down with my counterpart, David Davis.

"The position we have agreed today is completely consistent with our long-standing position we have set out on article 50", he said at a press conference after the day's talks had concluded.

He characterised the first discussions as "very productive" and added: "We have laid a solid foundation for future discussions with an ambitious but eminently achievable timetable".

"If we back this image that Brexit perhaps would not happen, it brings an uncertainty".

Davis and Barnier will meet for a week every month to negotiate and work on proposals in the time in between.

The two sides agreed to set up three working groups covering the details of withdrawal: the financial settlement; citizens' rights; and one dealing with other legal issues relating to "separation".

Solving the vexed question of keeping the peace and an open border between the United Kingdom province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic will also be an urgent priority in the talks, Barnier and Davis agreed. Michel insisted the British people had chosen to leave and negotiations should now proceed apace. "President Tusk is not going to encourage a discussion on this point", a senior European Union diplomat said. If its assessment is positive, the talks will then move on to "scoping the future relationship on trade and other matters".

"There is more that unites us than divides us", Davis said, referring to the latest reported terror attack overnight in London and the loss of lives in forest fires in Portugal.

Under the agreed structure talks about trade would follow the earlier tranche of negotiations, not be held in parallel, as previously requested by the UK.

  • Leroy Wright