The official Brexit negotiations have begun

The official Brexit negotiations have begun

The UK Government said in a press release that Davis is "confident that he can get a positive outcome and secure a new deep and special partnership with the European Union".

Negotiator for the EU, Michel Barnier, said he hoped the initial talks would focus on a timeline for the negotiations and priorities for it.

"We've agreed to talk about the rights of European Union citizens, which we've been saying all along was a top priority for us; something to deal with right at the start", he told BBC Radio 4's Today. A fair deal for both sides was possible, he said.

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.

There will be a "two-phased" negotiation, with divorce terms to be set first before talks on future trade relations.

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He said those were the rights of expatriate citizens and problems of a new EU-UK border, notably cutting across Ireland.

Ms May, whose future is uncertain after she lost her Conservative majority in an election this month, has insisted that trade talks start immediately and run in parallel. Anxious by immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain voted past year to end its four-decades-old membership of the 28-country bloc - the first state ever to do so - in a shock referendum result.

A group of Conservative MPs has reportedly told the Theresa May that they will not accept the decision to leave the European Union without a deal being reached.

Davis said he was looking for a "positive and constructive tone" to deal with the myriad issues dividing both sides.

But he made the case for a new form of customs agreement with "current border arrangements" - which presumably means agreeing to some form of EU oversight for some years following Britain's exit from the union.

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To do so we will clearly need to talk about trade as well, as the border issues include how goods will move across the frontier.

The EU knows that the United Kingdom electorate voted by a majority to leave the EU, that our parliament voted by overwhelming majority to send the article 50 letter as formal notice that we will leave. The Labour manifesto looked forward to negotiating a series of good trade deals with non-EU countries, which you can only do if you leave the customs union.

They said discussions would be split into three stages: citizen rights, the single financial settlement and other separation issues.

The comments are designed as a direct rebuttal to Emmanuel Macron, the French president, who said that the "door remains open" for Britain to stay in the EU.

"While we seek to manage migration, we do not seek to shut it down", Hammond said.

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