EU Brexit talks to focus 1st on citizens' rights

Boris Johnson calls for internet firms to leave ‘no safe space for terrorists

Barnier said he hoped that during their single day of talks, he and Davis would be able to identify priorities and a timetable for the ongoing negotiations, so that he can report back to leaders of the other 27 EU states at the European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday.

The socialist Gabriel said the Conservative government in London "played with the emotions of citizens in Britain, told fake news about Europe and left people unclear about what consequences this would all have" and "they bet on a snap election because they thought they could use tactical tricks to get a bigger majority". "A deal like no other in history", Davis said in a statement as he headed into the talks.

The two sides are expected to meet monthly until March 2019, when Brexit is due to happen.

He added: "It's not as if Europe is leaving Britain; Britain wants to leave the EU". But Union 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 follow. "We keep hearing only what they don't want, but we don't have any picture of what future relations will look like". Agreeing to pay a "Brexit bill" may be more inflammatory. But the situation is very different from 12 months ago when the Brexiteers were riding high, with Prime Minister Theresa May's entire approach called into question after a disastrous election performance on June 8. "We need time to achieve the best possible Brexit but that will mean that we can't fall off a cliff edge", he warned.

But he said that 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".

May's recent election debacle has revived feuding over Europe among Conservatives that her predecessor David Cameron hoped to end by calling the referendum and leaves European Union leaders unclear on her plan for a "global Britain" which a lot of them regard as pure folly.

Before the General Election, ministers insisted talks on a future trading relationship must take place in parallel with negotiations on the divorce from Brussels, with Mr Davis warning in May it would be the "row of the summer".

"With Scotland's economy, small and large businesses, key research facilities and around 80,000 jobs at risk, the Prime Minister must fully engage with the devolved administrations and with parliament in negotiations". But he also hinted that even should there be a British change of heart, there would be no return to the current status quo.

"Preserving the rights of the millions of EU citizens affected by Brexit, securing the achievements of the Good Friday Agreement for Northern Ireland and honouring the financial commitments made by the British government will be indispensable in securing the European Parliament's approval of a potential exit deal". But both diplomats underlined that any future partnership with the European Union would bring responsibilities as well as benefits.

Barnier said the objective of the talks was to deliver an "orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU". He added that Britain would have to accept the jurisdiction of either the European Court of Justice or a "joint court" of Europeans and Britons.

May plans to present European Union leaders on Thursday with a proposal that would detail British plans for European Union citizens living inside Britain, according to the Times of London, which said that the leaked draft would be "generous".

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