Representatives for the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the European Union (EU) kicked off Brexit negotiations in Brussels on June 19, nearly 12 weeks after Britain’s prime minister triggered the mechanism that would let it depart from the EU. They also come three months after Prime Minister Theresa May locked Britain into a two-year countdown to Brexit in March 2019.
Prime Minister Theresa May had taken a hard-line approach on leaving the European Union but a disastrous election result for her Conservative party on June 8 has left London’s policy in disarray and her own political future uncertain.
May’s government said it was “confident it can achieve a bold and ambitious deal that will work in the interest of the whole U.K”.
Only when “sufficient, concrete progress” on the first phase has been made will Mr Barnier recommend to the European Council that the negotiations can enter the next stage, taking in the future trading relationship, with that recommendation possibly coming at October’s summit of EU leaders.
“We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit – first for citizens but also for the beneficiaries of the European Union policies and for the impact on borders, in particular Ireland“, Barnier told reporters at the start of the talks.
“Monday will be the start of a long and hard road”, he said.
Eurocrats have repeatedly voiced concerns that British Government has not grasped the enormous complexity of the challenge that faces it as both sides look to navigate towards what Brussels calls an “orderly exit”.
“There is more political fragility, but the 27 European countries certainty don’t want to end up in a sort of long-term relationship that would be one of animosity with the United Kingdom”, he said. However, the shock result and loss of a Conservative majority has reopened the debate over what sort of Brexit Britain wants.
In this Monday June 19, 2017 photo, British Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis listens to opening remarks during his arrival at EU headquarters in Brussels.
Others industry representatives say that the Brexit vote and the uncertain outcome of the European Union talks about what forms it takes cast a shadow over the entertainment sector.
A key issue he did not mention was the EU’s bill for Britain to leave, which Brussels estimates at a colossal 100 billion euros. They are due to give a joint news conference after talks among their teams lasting seven hours.
“The most important thing I think now is for us to. think about the new partnership, the deep and special partnership that we want to build with our friends”, said Mr Johnson, who campaigned in last year’s referendum to leave the EU.
“We need back control of our borders, we will leave the single market and the customs union.” he said.
The EU said it was also looking for a good compromise.
It comes as Philip Hammond warned failing to secure a Brexit deal would be “very, very bad” for the country and insisted there must be transitional arrangements to avoid a “cliff edge”. Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said: “If we don’t succeed, both sides will lose”.