Issue of UK-Irish Border Most Discussed at Brexit Talks – Davis

Brexit negotiations have finally begun in Brussels, nearly a year to the day after Britain voted to leave the European Union.In a joint document released by the British government, the negotiators said they had established initial groups to talk on citizens’ rights, the financial settlement for Britain’s departure and other issues regarding the separation. Both sides will put top advisers to work immediately on a border agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom, aiming to make sure the Irish peace agreement and the common travel area should as unaffected by Britain’s European Union departure as possible.As Britain’s Brexit Secretary, David Davis, and his EU counterpart, Michel Barnier, met at the European Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters, they smiled and shook hands gamely.Tax experts have previously said that the outcome of the UK’s general election on June 8, with the Conservative Party failing to secure a parliamentary majority, could weaken the UK’s negotiating position in Brexit talks.Davis said he was looking for a “positive and constructive tone” to deal with the myriad issues dividing both sides.Barnier said his priority was to clear up the uncertainties that the Brexit vote had created.Unless all of the leaders of all the EU countries agree to an extension, Britain is required to leave the union by March 2019.The meeting came after pressure from Brussels to set a date close to 19 June, as the European Council three days later would be a good chance for Barnier to inform the EU-27 about how the negotiations are to take place.”Over the coming weeks and months, the United Kingdom government must demonstrate how it is working to address the everyday considerations of British companies in the talks – who can they hire, whether their goods will be stopped at borders, and whether they will have to cope with extra costs”.At Monday’s press conference Davis said trade would be discussed alongside the divorce issues, citing the EU’s own withdrawal clause.On June 19, the Brexit Secretary David Davis held the first official talks on the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.Davis said the talks were off to a “promising start” and denied that Britain had caved in on the sequencing of the talks.European Union diplomats hope this first meeting, and a Brussels summit on Thursday and Friday where Theresa May will meet fellow European Union leaders, will improve the mood after some spiky exchanges. “It’s wholly illogical and we happen to think the wrong interpretation of the treaty, so that will be the row of the summer”.”The other is the determination to maintain an, as near as possible, invisible border so we do not undermine the peace process, do not provide any cause for concern in Northern Ireland”.At one point, officials took a short break to smile and pose for photographs holding gifts.The negotiations will last until March 2019 and are expected to move in a series of phases and cycles.In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised the unity of the remaining 27 European Union countries, who have been alarmed in recent weeks by May’s threats to walk out of the talks. “A fair deal is possible and far better than no deal”, the French former European Union commissioner said.He insisted: ‘We will be leaving the single market – we’ll be seeking to set up a free trade agreement.