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Britain says will be ‘positive and constructive’ in Brexit talks

EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier, fifth right, and British Secretary of State David Davis, fourth left, participate in a round table meeting at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday, June 19, 2017.As many political analysts have agreed, discontent in europhile Scotland and troubled Northern Ireland, which faces a new European Union border across the divided island, Brexit poses new threats to the integrity of the United Kingdom, which do not seem to visibly affect David Davis, the top British negotiator in Brussels, for whom the hard work “now begins” in his own words.Davis, a prominent tough-talking figure in the “Leave” campaign, sounded a positive note, saying that while there would “undoubtedly be challenging times ahead” he wanted a good relationship with the EU.Mr Barnier told waiting journalists that the talks today would focus on outlining and agreeing the priorities, including citizens’ rights for those left in each other’s territory after Brexit, financial commitments by the United Kingdom, and the issue of borders, particularly in Ireland.Just a month ago, Davis had predicted “the row of the summer” would erupt over how to structure the talks on Brexit.Whether it’s the Brexit bill that comes first or the freedom of movement and protection of European Union citizens remains to be seen, but the main issue will be the fact that European Union negotiators want to leave trade talks at the end of the laundry list, whilst the British government and Theresa May in particular, had been looking for talks to be held in tandem.Day One of the negotiations will be followed by a joint press conference later by Davis and Barnier.”I would like us to get a good agreement that is in both sides’ interests”.She said: “During the election I was very clear on the idea of a hard Brexit where we lost out on access to the single market and protection for the rights of Europeans here and our residents”.Monday morning’s terror attack in London and the devastating fires in Portugal reminded him that “there is more that unites us than divides us”.But the turmoil of the euro zone crisis, fears in Britain about immigration and a series of miscalculations by former Prime Minister David Cameron prompted Britain to vote by 52 to 48 percent for Brexit in a June 23 referendum previous year.Presently, May is barely clinging to power and her representatives are hastily insisting that London will indeed push forward with Brexit, German and European Union leaders seem relaxed and confident.Subjects for the negotiations include the status of expats, the UK’s divorce bill and the Northern Ireland border.”The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust”, another European source said.After the initial shock of last year’s Brexit vote, the bloc at 27 appears to have steadied in recent months and got a real boost with the election of new French President Emmanuel Macron in May.Elsewhere, Macron’s party victory in the 2 round of the parliamentary elections provided little support for the Euro, with a poor turnout giving the LREM party 300 seats, fewer than had been anticipated, though still enough to deliver on campaign promises, which are not only pro-EU, but also considered pro-business.With May still hammering out the details of a post-election deal to stay in power with the support of a small Northern Irish party, there are fears of a disorderly exit that would weaken the West, imperil Britain’s $2.5 trillion economy and undermine London’s position as the only financial centre to rival NY.The letter from the British Chambers of Commerce, Confederation of British Industry, EEF, Federation of Small Businesses, and Institute of Directors, calls on the government to accept continued membership of the Single Market and Customs union until any new trade deal is signed and implemented – a process that trade experts suggest could take up to a decade.Beyond the politics, we need to put the economy first.Barnier has warned that the negotiations must be wrapped up by October 2018 to allow time for all parties to ratify a final accord by March 2019.