EU, Britain possible to strike 'fair Brexit deal', says Michel Barnier

Pauline Gross
June 20, 2017

But EU 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 quit.

Brexit negotiations have finally begun in Brussels, nearly a year to the day after Britain voted to leave the European Union.

As negotiations begin on the UK's departure from the European Union, David Dingle CBE, Chairman of Maritime UK said: "These are the most critical set of negotiations in a lifetime".

"So we have got a very sensitive political context, a very clear objective which is to preserve all the dimensions of the Good Friday Agreement and we have an terrible lot of work to do - bilaterally, and also in coordination with the Dublin government on my side, so that we come up with imaginative and concrete solutions along the lines I have described, particularly taking into account the single market".

"My clear view - and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain - is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter into negotiations", he said.

Merkel spoke after meeting with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, who also stressed the 27 European Union countries' unity.

Talks around Ireland's future relationship with Northern Ireland will be held separately.

May officially triggered the two-year Brexit process in March when she was riding high in the opinion polls. An EU official said Britain still refused to accept it would owe Brussels anything.

The association represents 3,200 businesses with a million employees in Germany making industrial machinery.

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"Today we agreed on dates, we agreed on organization and we agreed on priorities for negotiations", Barnier told a joint press conference with British counterpart David Davis.

Former French foreign minister Barnier said: "We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit, first for citizens but also for the beneficiaries of European Union policies and for the impact on borders, in particular Ireland".

We want to find the best solution for them and their families, "said Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator for Brexit". Davis said she will tell them about plans to guarantee rights for some 3 million European Union citizens in Britain under a proposal to be made next week.

The five of key United Kingdom business bodies have come together to call for continued access to the European single market until a final Brexit deal is made with the EU.

"We will see I think as the negotiations progress how closely they have been listening to us and industry in general", he said. "We need to bring back to Britain control of our laws and control of our borders", he said.

However, Britain rejected the two-stage negotiating arrangement, insisting that the talks on trade relations should take place "in parallel".

"The most important thing for us is to look to the horizon, raise our eyes to the horizon". The Irish issue, long described as a priority for both, will be treated somewhat differently; avoiding a "hard border" will necessarily have to take account of how the rest of EU-UK trade will work.

Roth said that "Brexit is a very, very hard operation" and there's only a bit over a year to negotiate it.

Other reports by GizPress

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