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

Brexit Secretary David Davis will call for "a deal like no other in history" as he heads into talks with the EU.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier reportedly handed Davis a hiking stick as the duo exchanged pre-talks gifts, with Davis reciprocating with a hiking book.

In this June 19, 2017 photo, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to the media outside 10 Downing Street in London.

The Mechanical Engineering Industry Association, known by its German initials VDMA, says that that goal of the two-year negotiating process is "damage limitation" because Brexit won't benefit either side.

It is unclear if any European Union staff took up the offer to clock off early, and if it has any impact on the Brexit negotiations.

Davis's agreement to Monday's agenda led some European Union officials to believe that May's government may at last coming around to Brussels' view of how negotiations should be run.

"The most important thing for us is to look to the horizon, raise our eyes to the horizon".

Still, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remained upbeat Monday, saying he thinks the Brexit negotiations will yield "a happy resolution that can be done with profit and honor for both sides".

Macron, a committed pro-EU leader and ally of Merkel, also easily won French legislative elections on Sunday, cementing his power base.

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The Brexit Secretary said he had been "encouraged by the constructive approach both sides have taken" and revealed he and Michel Barnier have already laid down a detailed framework for the talks.

Time is pressing. After the June 23, 2016 referendum to leave the bloc, the other 27 nations wanted to start the exit talks as soon as possible so they could work on their own future but Britain long seemed dazed by its own momentous move.

After Davis and Barnier met over lunch in the commission's top floor dining rooms, their teams broke up into "working groups" charged with handling specific areas of talks the European Union expects to take place for a week every month.

Talks will begin at 0900 GMT with a joint press conference by former French foreign minister and European commissioner Barnier and Davis at around 1630 GMT.

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

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The 60-year-old prime minister emerged victorious from a bitter and divisive leadership battle after her predecessor, David Cameron, quit following Britain's vote a year ago to leave the EU. Britain itself encountered issues of its own when Prime Minister Theresa May lost the majority vote on June 8th while the European Union was ready to plan its future without the nation. Her Conservative Party's comfortable majority in the lower house of the British Parliament evaporated following a lackluster campaign. The only Conservative who appears to be popular is the "Remain" supporting leader of the Scottish Conservatives, Ruth Davidson.

He was responding to suggestions by France and Germany that the "door remains open" for Britain to stay in the EU.

"I would have liked to have highlighted our economic record, and I think if we had focused on that we probably would have done better in the election than we did", Hammond told the BBC, echoing earlier comments to Reuters. This date can be extended by agreement between all member states.

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