EU, Britain possible to strike ‘fair deal’

According to the timetable set by the negotiating teams, further talks would be held in the weeks starting on 17 July, 28 August, 18 September and 9 October.

The Brexit Secretary gave the European Commission’s chief negotiator a first edition of one of the great mountaineering books – a French language version of Regards vers l’Annapurna signed by French author Marcel Ichac.

Both sides say they want to safeguard the rights of millions of citizens who have settled in Britain or Europe.

A year post the Britain’s vehement referendum, Brexit minister David Davis and the EU’s French chief negotiator Michel Barnier met at the European Commission in Brussels on Monday.

May wants to negotiate the divorce and the future trading relationship with the European Union before Britain leaves in March 2019, followed by what she calls a phased implementation process to give business time to prepare for the impact of the divorce.

“N. Ireland has taken more time today than anything else”, said Davis on UK’s behalf reminding that the issue is politically sensitive, just to add that determining an invisible border is the point.

But the agreement appeared at odds with British Prime Minister Theresa May’s earlier insistence that the divorce and the future relationship should be discussed in parallel.

VDMA managing director Thilo Brodtmann said in a statement that “the European Union and Great Britain must absolutely avoid being left without an agreement in two years”.

The EU could demand that Britain pay a large upfront exit bill.

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”.

Residents now enjoy free movement across the border and many businesses have facilities on both sides.

Anxious by immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britons voted last June to become the first nation ever to leave the 28-nation EU.

Mr Barnier, who was a senior European Union official involved in the peace process, acknowledged that “this is one of the most sensitive issues before us” and there was an “awful lot of work to do”.

Negotiations had been expected to begin next week but May’s loss of her parliamentary majority in a general election last week raised doubts about the date.

After voters rejected that request, the Brexit talks start Monday lacking clarity on what the exact nature of the UK’s departure from Europe will be.

Mr Davis said there was more time spent on Ireland in Monday’s talks than any other subject.

Talks were “very constructive”, however the European Union warned “the clock is ticking”.

“The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust“, rather than tackle the big hard issues right at the start, a European source said.

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized the unity of the remaining 27 European Union countries, who have been alarmed in recent weeks by May’s threats to walk out of the talks.

Both sides are keen to ensure that people and goods keep moving smoothly across the border and that nothing undermines the peace agreement that ended decades of bloody conflict in Northern Ireland. “The position we have agreed today is completely consistent with our long-standing position we have set out on article 50”.

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

She is also trying to contain outrage at home over a London tower block fire which left at least 30 people dead.