Britain, the EU’s biggest financial market is leaving the bloc in 2019, raising the prospect of an abrupt cut in cross-border links without a new trade deal.
The European Union said after a first day of talks on Britain’s exit from the 28-member bloc that the clock was ticking on negotiations, but British Brexit minister David Davis said he was optimistic they would yield a swift and good outcome. The UK and European Union hope the first phase of talks focusing on the exit terms will conclude by October, allowing trade negotiations to begin.
A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European Union said: “We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account”.
‘The business community fully accepts the decision of voters last June that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union. “And the consequences are substantial”. On day one of the negotiations, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government gave in to European Union demands to discuss the terms of its divorce – including the exit fee – before any consideration can begin on the future trade deal Britain wants with Europe’s common market.
A detailed paper will then be published on Monday, Mr Davis confirmed.
He said: “There is more that unites us than divides us”, and the United Kingdom is wants a “positive and constructive tone” during the talks.
“That is what I said to David today”.
“The new Northern Irish executive needs to be set up in a few days’ time, at the same time we have a new government and a new Taoiseach in Dublin and of course there are the ongoing political discussion in London which we are also following closely”. “There will be no hostility on my side”. Only when there is “sufficient progress” does the European Union want to look at creating a new relationship with Britain on things like trade and migration. “We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit“, centring on citizens living on each other’s territory, border arrangements between Ireland and the United Kingdom and the amount that Britain stands to pay to get out of its previous European Union commitments, Barnier said.
He added they were determined to deliver certainty to expats as soon as possible.
He insisted that his position was “completely consistent with the long-standing position” of his government, and that what matters is how the negotiation will end, not how it started.
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. “For Britain to get a good trade deal it might have to acquiesce or talks could turn sour”, he said.
Other officials around the table include Glyn Williams, Director-General at the Home Office, who will bring his expertise on immigration issues and Catherine Webb, a former treasury official, who is Director of Market Access at DExEU.
Scottish Government minister for Brexit talks with the UK Government, Michael Russell, referring to a further admission from leading pro-Brexit Tory minister Michael Gove, said: “Everything he and Brexit enthusiasts said in #EURef turned out to be false”.
“The best start would be to abandon the risky idea that we could leave the European Union with no deal at all, which would be the worst possible outcome for jobs and living standards in this country”.