United Kingdom to target 'deep partnership' with European Union in Brexit talks: Johnson

Britain starts formal talks to leave the European Union on Monday, seeking a deal "like no other in history" despite entering fiendishly hard negotiations with a badly weakened government.

The decision of last year's referendum paved the way for the formal Brexit negotiations which today will start in Brussels.

May herself will also have a chance to update the other 27 European Union leaders on her Brexit plans at a summit in Brussels on Thursday.

But the business community and many lawmakers want to retain closer ties with Europe, and they are heaping pressure on the prime minister to change her approach. "If there is going to be a deal, it makes it more likely to be softer than before the election, but on the other hand the probability of no deal at all has increased".

Theresa May had called for voters in the election to choose her "strong and stable leadership" to ensure that the United Kingdom had a strong hand in the Brexit negotiations. The public mood has also been shaken by a wave of terror attacks in recent weeks.

How the negotiations progress will be monitored closely by investors and business leaders.

Spring 2019: Mrs May has promised MPs a "take it or leave it" vote on whether to accept any deal or leave the European Union on World Trade Organisation terms.

While Britain's economy has shown unexpected resilience since the Brexit vote, there are signs of weakness.

"The UK will remain a committed partner and ally of our friends across the continent", Davis said. "A deal like no other in history", Davis said in a statement as he headed into the talks. Such conversations mark a shift from the pre-election talk of a "hard Brexit" and May's onetime warning she would walk away from the talks if disappointed.

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".

"We're leaving the EU and because we are leaving the EU, we will be leaving the single market and by the way, we will be leaving the customs union".

He also warned that failure to reach agreement over Brexit would be "very, very bad" for Britain in an apparent contradiction of Theresa May's mantra that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

The Chancellor insisted there must be transitional arrangements to avoid a "cliff edge", and he indicated temporary measures could be in place for a couple of years before a final deal is sealed.

The UK may already have made one concession.

But Brussels has ruled out any consideration of those issues until progress has been made on its key demands - 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 the one million Britons on the continent; and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The UK has ruled out paying such a sum, suggesting it could seek a chunk of the EU's assets as part of a "fair settlement", although it might have to pay something to ease a trade accord.

Britain already appears to have capitulated to the EU's insistence that talks first focus on three key divorce issues, before moving onto the future EU-UK relationship and a possible trade deal. Talks must be wrapped up by the end of 2018 to allow the European and British Parliaments to rubber-stamp them, making it questionable May can secure what she wants in the timeframe allowed.

In the wake of atrocities in London Bridge and Manchester, Prime Minister Theresa May has urged social media companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to take down terrorist content, agreeing measures with G7 leaders in April and a new plan with French President Emmanuel Macron last week.

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