Britain, EU to start historic Brexit talks

Britain, EU to start historic Brexit talks

Britain needs a seamless Brexit transition to support jobs and investment by ensuring a new customs arrangement with the European Union that avoids bureaucratic delays to trade, finance minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday.He said such a Brexit would mean “that we segue seamlessly from the customs union that we are in at the moment to a new arrangement in the future that will continue to allow British goods to flow not just without tariffs, because actually tariffs are a relatively small part of the problem, it is without delays and bureaucracy”.Acknowledging the hard talks ahead, British Secretary for Brexit David Davis, said the talks would be held in a constructive and positive atmosphere, and would deliver a deal “that works in the best interests of all citizens”.Prime Minister Theresa May spoke to Polish counterpart Beata Szydlo about the negotiations, telling her she wanted a “deep and special partnership that supports a strong and prosperous EU” and stressing her commitment to a deal on the rights of European Union citizens.The talks began nearly a year to the day after Britain shocked Europe by voting to cut loose from the 28-nation European Union, its biggest market.The Brexit Secretary said: “The position hasn’t changed“.Additionally, she is facing pressure from hard-line “Brexiteers” within her party who want a hard break from the 27-nation bloc, as well as from those who want a softer Brexit deal that would keep some of the current conventions of the relationship in place.”It was clear from the opening that both of us want to achieve the best possible outcome and the strongest possible partnership”, said Davis, adding that he was happy to see that there is much common ground between the two sides.Trade talks between the United Kingdom and European Union will not begin until October at the earliest as Brexit negotiations will follow the timetable set out by Brussels in a blow to David Davis.Mr Barnier quoted the founder of the trading bloc that later became the EU, Jean Monnet, as saying: “I am neither optimistic nor pessimistic”. “Everyone must accept their responsibilities, the consequences of their decisions”.”If you ask me are we going to make concessions, I must tell you that it is the United Kingdom that is leaving the EU, the single market, the customs union and not the other way around”, the former European commissioner and French foreign minister told a joint press conference with Davis.Davis channelled Winston Churchill: “The pessimist see difficulty in every opportunity, the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty”. There’s a long way to go but we’re off to a promising start. We have taken the first, critical steps together.Terms of reference agreed by both sides envisage four rounds of talks on the first phase of discussions, in the weeks starting July 17, August 28, September 18 and October 9, implying trade talks are unlikely to open until after the European Council summit of October 18/19.The working language of the negotiations will be English and French, with interpretations provided by the European Commission.

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