Brexit negotiations have started

Brexit negotiations

Speaking in advance of the start of what are expected to be largely procedural Brexit talks about talks and their scheduling on Monday morning Mr Hammond said "no deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain".

"We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit - first for citizens but also for the beneficiaries of the European Union policies and for the impact on borders, in particular Ireland", Barnier told reporters at the start of the talks.

Barnier told the BBC a "constructive" opening to negotiations was crucial in setting the tone for what he hoped would be an "orderly" process.

The hardline faction, which includes Brexit Secretary David Davis, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, wants a clean break with the European Union in order to regain full control over Britain's borders and do trade deals with non-EU countries.

Putting a "free trade deal" in place and a building a "deep and special partnership with our friends" in Europe was at the heart of the government's negotiations, he said, as he called for people in Britain to "look to the future".

The two sides agreed in principle to a format of four-week rounds of bargaining, with one week per month of head-to-head bargaining, to be carried out in English and French.

Last year's Brexit 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.

The Brexit Secretary said: "The position hasn't changed, we have the Lancaster House speech, the two white papers, and the Article 50 letter, all backed up by a manifesto too".

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A year after Britons shocked the continent by voting on June 23 to cut loose from their main export market, debate within Prime Minister Theresa May's cabinet on precisely what kind of trading relationship to pursue has perplexed European Union leaders, who warn time is tight to agree terms before Britain leaves in 2019.

Mr Davis, a veteran campaigner against European Union membership, said he sought quick and substantive progress in what is scheduled to be a two-year negotiation before Britain leaves the EU.

Brexit negotiations start on Monday, with question marks over Britain's approach after Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in an election meant to strengthen her hand in the talks.

In a joint document released by the British government, the negotiators said they had established initial groups to talk on citizens' rights, the financial settlement for Britain's departure and other issues regarding the separation.

The two parties have until March 2019 to negotiate the terms of the exit, when the two-year clock, which started when the United Kingdom triggered Article 50, runs out.

The EU said it was also looking for a good compromise. Both say they want a reciprocal agreement although the Europeans say the British side does not appear to appreciate just what that involves.

British chancellor Philip Hammond said he would not agree to a deal that would "destroy" Britain.

A week after the negotiations began, the EU Commission will report back to the 27 members of the European Union, excluding the UK.

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