EU Brexit talks to focus 1st on citizens' rights

Both EU negotiator Michel Barnier and his United Kingdom counterpart David Davis said they were heartened by the first day of talks on Monday and insisted the tight deadlines were tough but achievable.

Davis is to meet Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, to kick off hugely complex withdrawal negotiations that are expected to conclude within two years.

Britain and the European Union (EU) have agreed on the priorities and timetable for Brexit negotiations after the first session of talks on Monday, EU pointman Michel Barnier said.

At a press conference in Brussels, Mr Davis said: "We discussed two aspects of it".

"We are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves and our European allies and friends for the future", he said.

Monday's talks however are likely to focus on the practical details of timings for the coming months, with the big, divisive issues left aside for now, officials said.

Macron, a committed pro-EU leader and ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, easily won French legislative elections on Sunday, cementing his power base. We also have to find solutions to maintaining all the commitments of the Good Friday Agreement. "There is more that unites us than divides us".

May officially triggered the two-year Brexit process in March when she was riding high in the opinion polls.

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Britain enters the negotiations with U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May facing huge political challenges at home following an election which saw her Conservative party lose its majority in Parliament.

The aim is to make sufficient progress to get leaders of the other 27 European Union countries to agree to move on to talks on a future relationship with Britain, including a trade deal, he said.

The discussions in the meeting are expected to focus on the major divorce issues such as Britain's exit bill, which is estimated by Brussels at almost 100 billion euros or Dollars 112 billion, the rights concerning the three million EU nationals that stay in Britain, and the exit's impact on the one million Britons living across the European continent, and the status of operations in the states of Northern Ireland and Ireland.

The Brussels talks began nearly a year after Britain unexpectedly voted in a referendum to leave the European Union and less than two weeks after British Prime Minister Theresa May lost her overall majority in snap elections that raised questions about the stability of the government the European Union faces.

"The aim of the new clause is to provide additional certainty for clients as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union", Chris Jones, director of legal and market services at the IUA, said in a statement.

The historic talks on how the United Kingdom and the European Union will go separate ways in 2019 kicked off on Monday (19 June) with the two sides agreeing on a timetable, structure and priorities.

Ms May's election debacle has revived feuding over Europe among Conservatives that her predecessor David Cameron hoped to end by calling the referendum and leaves European Union leaders unclear on her plan for a "global Britain" which majority regard as pure folly. Instead, he will stress the importance of a "pragmatic" approach to negotiating transition periods and avoiding a cliff edge.

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