London and Brussels will start negotiations on a Brexit 19 Jun

The long awaited negotiations to start the process of Britain leaving the European Union are to get under way in Brussels today.

Anxious by immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain voted a year ago to end its four-decades-old membership of the 28-country bloc - the first state ever to do so - in a shock referendum result.

Adding to what Queen Elizabeth II called the "sombre national mood" have been three terrorist attacks in three months and a fire in a London tower block in which 58 people are presumed dead.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson, who is newly influential after winning a crucial 13 seats in Scotland, has said Britain should prioritise "freedom to trade and our economic growth".

"An overly blinkered approach focused on simply cutting immigration to tens of thousands and focusing only on high skilled employees could leave employers high and dry, especially those who rely on European Union migrants to fill low-skilled jobs", Davies said.

With Britain's negotiations on the terms of its departure from the European Union set to begin on Monday, the country risks skills shortages and losing business if it ends freedom of movement without a new plan for attracting workers, the report by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said. We keep hearing that they don't want a 'Norway model, ' they don't want a 'Swiss model, ' they want to leave the customs union, the internal market, they want to limit migration.

But Hammond said transitional arrangements would be necessary, to give business greater certainty.

Davis said in a statement Sunday: "Now, the hard work begins".

The negotiations kick off in Brussels on Monday with Britain under pressure for stalling the talks and entering the negotiations without a working parliamentary majority fully in place.

The agenda of the first round of talks is set to focus on "citizens' rights, the financial settlement, the Northern Irish border and other separation issues, as part of the sequenced approach to the talks", according to the EU Commission.

Official representatives of the Brussels and London for the first time after the British referendum on leaving the European Union will discuss the conditions of the failure of the United Kingdom on European Union membership. A deal like no other in history. Hammond added however that a deal created to punish the United Kingdom would be unacceptable.

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".

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