UK makes big concession on day one of Brexit talks
UK makes big concession on day one of Brexit talks
20 Junio, 2017, 10:46
But EU leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron, are also determined not to make concessions to Britain that might encourage others to quit.
"Today, we agreed on dates, we agreed on organisation, and we agreed on priorities for the negotiation", he said, outlining a two-step negotiation. "In the long run, this will be good for the United Kingdom and good for the rest of Europe", Johnson said at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
While the European Union negotiating team led by Barnier has been ready for months, British efforts on Brexit stalled even after it triggered the two-year process on March 29. The complex talks are on a tight timetable: They must be.
"The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust", rather than tackle the big hard issues right at the start, a European source said.
At a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg, he said: "The most important thing for us is to look to the horizon, raise our eyes to the horizon".
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"And so bridging between Churchill and Monnet I am certainly a determined optimist".
But many in Brussels fear that London has no real strategy, with May under pressure at home and still trying to close a deal with a conservative Northern Ireland party to stay in power, and facing criticism for her handling of the aftermath of a devastating tower block fire.
"When we eventually get to the stage where the council decide we have made enough progress, both sets of dialogue will continue, including free trade".
Officials on both sides played down expectations for what can be achieved in one day.
Mr Barnier and Mr Davis will meet every four weeks over the coming months, bringing their teams together for a matter of days each time. "We hope this regular rhythm will help us progress our discussions across the full range of issues very quickly", he added.
The smiles belied the fact that at stake is not just Britain's future but also Europe's postwar political order and its place in the world, which could be fatally undermined without an agreement by the March 2019 deadline.
"There is a long way to go, but we are off to a promising start". 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.
"Both for the European Union and the United Kingdom, a fair deal is possible, and far better than no deal, that is what I say to David today, that is why we will work all the time with the United Kingdom and never against the United Kingdom" chief negotiator Michel Barnier said at a press conference on Monday, after wrapping up the opening salvo of the Brexit talks in Brussels.
The Brussels talks began nearly a year after Britain unexpectedly voted in a referendum to leave the European Union and less than two weeks after Prime Minister Theresa May lost her overall majority in snap elections that raised questions about the stability of the government the European Union faces.
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