And so it begins: Brexit talks to focus 1st on orderly exit

Brexit The 5 huge issues Britain and EU must settle

Ian Berry CNNMoney via CNN Ian Berry CNNMoney

Barnier made clear on Tuesday that while there must be a first phase that excludes trade discussions, he does hope that four weeks of monthly negotiating sessions can get him to the point where he can ask European Union leaders in October to let him move on and discuss how the two sides can keep commerce open from 2019.

"There is more that unites us than divides us", he said, adding that Britain was looking for a "positive and constructive tone" in the talks.

While the European Union negotiating team led by Barnier has been ready for months, British efforts on Brexit stalled even after it triggered the two-year process on March 29.

London agreed that "English and French will be used as working language".

In carefully choreographed talks that even saw the two men exchange mountaineering gifts, they agreed to discuss divorce issues before negotiations on a future trade deal can start.

Both sides will put top advisers to work immediately on a border agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom, aiming to make sure the Irish peace agreement and the common travel area should as unaffected by Britain's European Union departure as possible.

And the letter sent by Prime Minister Theresa May to the European Union triggering Article 50 in March had said: "We believe it is necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the European Union".

When asked about agreeing the structure of talks, David Davis has previously said: "That'll be the row of the summer".

Donald Trump pledges new law that has already existed for 20 years
President Donald Trump , speaking at a rally in Cedar Rapids , Iowa, touted the wealth of some of his top economic advisers. Trump bested Democrat Hillary Clinton in Iowa by almost 10 percentage points in the election a year ago .

Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis described the talks as a mission to deliver on the will of the British people following the referendum of a year ago.

"We will nearly certainly need an implementation period, outside the (EU's) customs union itself, but with current customs border arrangements remaining in place, until new long-term arrangements are up and running", he said, in a speech yesterday.

The vote came as a profound shock to Brussels against a backdrop of rising anti-EU sentiment, with many - including now US President Donald Trump - predicting the bloc's eventual break-up.

May, whose future is uncertain after she lost her Conservative majority in an election this month, has insisted that trade talks start immediately and run in parallel.

"We have the Lancaster House speech, the two white papers and the article 50 letter, all backed up by a manifesto - and so it's the same as it was before", he said, reiterating that Britain will leave the single market and seek to set up a free trade arrangement with the EU.

Britain is "very conscious of how they will use that time sequence to pressure us, and we'll avoid that at every turn", Davis told ITV on May 14. An increasingly concerned European Union has been pushing London to hurry up, with time running out for a deal and three months already passed since May triggered the two-year Article 50 European Union exit process.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in particular delivered a tough talk speech on Brexit telling the United Kingdom to have no illusions of privileged treatment during and after the Brexit talks.

"I will do all I can to put emotion to one side and stick to the facts, the figures, and the legal basis, and work with the United Kingdom to find an agreement in that frame of mind", he concluded.

Latest News