United Kingdom and European Union to begin Brexit talks

Mr Hammond will promise to be a “voice of business” at Brexit talks when he delivers tomorrow’s delayed Mansion House address.

“The elections were awful for May but I don’t think the fundamental dynamics of the Brexit negotiations will change because of that”, Stefan Auer, associate professor in European Studies at the University of Hong Kong, told CNBC on Monday.

Barnier has said a divorce deal should be ready by October next year to give time for parliamentary approval – while European Union leaders want Theresa May to lay off threatening to walk out and leave a chaotic legal limbo in her wake.

The British and EU Brexit negotiators agreed how to organise talks on Britain’s divorce at a first meeting in Brussels on Monday, where both sides stressed goodwill but also the huge complexity and tight deadline. Swift agreement on citizens’ rights would remove a highly emotive and politicised issue from the complex road ahead, while at the same time ending a year-long source of uncertainty for individuals, communities and employers alike.

Hammond signalled that he was in favour of an extended transitional arrangement, to help the United Kingdom avoid the “cliff edge” Brexit which most economists agree would be hugely damaging to the country’s economy.

A general election wiped out May’s parliamentary majority earlier this month and her position has been weakened further in the wake of a deadly fire in a London apartment building.

Davis sounded a positive note too, affirming that London wanted a deep and special relationship with the European Union after the divorce and that he would conduct the talks in a constructive tone.

First on the table, Mr. Barnier said, was “identifying priorities” such as the border in Ireland and setting out a timetable for the talks.

When Theresa May sent the EU Britain’s formal notice to quit the EU in March, she wrote: “We therefore believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the European Union”.

Davis said in a statement Sunday: “Now, the hard work begins”.

May officially triggered the two-year Brexit process in March when she was riding high in the opinion polls. The UK wants trade deal talks to run at the same time.

We will be closely monitoring these important negotiations over the coming months and will bring you updates on all the major events as they unfold. But the Brexit bill may be fudged, with a final figure not emerging until 2018, to help the government sell it as part of a new trade deal.

Barnier said he hoped the talks, starting nearly a year to the day after a British referendum vote to leave the EU, would “identify priorities and a timetable that would allow me to report to the European Council later this week that we had a constructive opening of negotiations”.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Monday he still thinks that the Brexit negotiations will yield “a happy resolution that can be done with profit and honor for both sides”.

Johnson urged Europeans to look at the more distant future.