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Brexit talks kick off in 'positive and constructive tone'

19 June 2017, 14:26 CET
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Brexit talks kick off in 'positive and constructive tone'

Davis - Barnier - Photo EC

(BRUSSELS) - Brussels and the United Kingdom launched formal talks on Britain's exit from the European Union Monday, with the UK expressing a desire to build "a new, deep and special partnership with the European Union".

David Davis, the UK's Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union was welcomed at the European Commission's Brussels headquarters by the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier.

Before going in to the talks, both expressed their sympathies for the tragic events outside a Mosque in London overnight, as well as for those who died in deadly forest fires in Portugal.

M Barnier's focus in the talks for "an orderly withdrawal from the EU" for the UK was first to tackle "the uncertainties caused by Brexit. First for citizens, but also for the beneficiaries of EU policies, and for its impact on Europe's borders."

He added that their first task was to identify priorities and to put together a timetable "that will allow me to report to the European Council later this week that we had a constructive opening to the negotiation."

For the UK, Mr David was keen to set a positive tone, saying that it was "at testing times like these that we are reminded of the values and the resolve that we share with our closest allies in Europe."

And while he said he expected "challenging times" ahead of us in the talks, he promised the UK would do "all that we can to ensure that we will deliver a deal that works in the best interest of all citizens."

He would be starting the talks in "a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves and our European allies and friends for the future," he said.


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