Germany: no punishment for UK, but EU exit good for no one

Markets in Asia were posting solid gains ahead of Europe's opening bell, with markets paying a close eye on news out of Europe, including the Brexit talks and the attack in London.

Britain begins historic talks on Monday on leaving the European Union while still mourning the victims of a devastating fire and reeling from an election that has badly weakened the government.

Those issues are Britain's exit bill, estimated by Brussels at around 100 billion euros ($112 billion), the rights of three million European Union nationals living in Britain and one million Britons on the continent, and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Amid reports that May is set to make a "generous offer" on the rights of European Union citizens remaining in Britain, the source said London had been warned against doing so this week, on the grounds that it could drag up the thorny issue before talks had really got going.

"While there is a long road ahead, our destination is clear - a deep and special partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU".

It includes the most senior civil servants at the department as well as officials from the Treasury and Home Office as well as Mark Sedwill, the national security adviser to the Prime Minister. "A deal like no other in history", Brexit Secretary David Davissaid in a statement as he headed into the talks.

The European Commission has said that it wants the discussions to focus on "citizens" rights, the financial settlement, the Northern Irish border and other separation issues'.

A spokesman for the Department for Exiting the European said: "We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account".

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The Chancellor told BBC One's Andrew Marr Show: "What we put in place may not be a single arrangement that endures forever, it may be an arrangement which lasts for a couple of years as a temporary measure before we get to the long-term agreed status quo".

With her strategy unclear and her position insecure, Prime Minister Theresa May plunges this week into tortuous divorce talks with the European Union that will shape Britain's prosperity and global influence for generations to come.

"The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust", another European source said.

Having said last Friday said that Brexit needed to be handled in a "pragmatic" way, yesterday he said Britain would still be leaving the EU's Customs union, but added that "transitional structures" would be needed to smooth that departure.

An EU official said the UK Government has failed to resolve issues that should have been addressed after Britain voted to leave on June 23rd previous year.

No deal would be "very, very bad" for Britain, Hammond said, but worse would be a deal "deliberately structured to punish us, to suck the lifeblood out of our economy".

Threats by Britain to walk away without a deal have also anxious European capitals.

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