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London and Brussels will start negotiations on a Brexit 19 Jun

London and Brussels will start negotiations on a Brexit 19 Jun

From his comments, it appeared that the Brexit talks will largely follow the EU's conditions and will center on the two sides' new relationship only once sufficient progress has been made on the withdrawal issues.

Time and time again expat groups, politicians and think tanks have urged both sides in the talks to get on with discussing citizen rights to alleviate the anxiety of millions of people who have chosen to make their life in another country. The UK has said on several occasions that it wants to guarantee the European Union nationals' rights, and the UK government has briefed that it plans to soon make a "generous offer".

After nearly a year of waffling, Britain on Monday finally opens negotiations with its European Union counterparts about leaving the bloc, with the final outcome, due in 2019, as important as it now seems unpredictable. "We have to be very clear that we're not going to do it in a way that damages the economy", he said.

With Mrs May still hammering out the details of a post-election deal to stay in power with the support of a small Northern Irish party, there are fears of a disorderly exit that would weaken the West, imperil Britain's US$2.5 trillion (S$3.5 trillion) economy and undermine London's position as the only financial centre to rival NY.

European stocks rose on Monday, partly on optimism about the talks actually getting underway after months of sniping and uncertainty, analysts said.

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.

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

Britain should ensure that employers retain access to both skilled and unskilled workers from the European Union as it begins talks to leave the bloc or there is a risk of damaging United Kingdom businesses, a research report by two think tanks said on Monday.

He said he hoped that during their single day of talks, he and Mr Davis would be able to identify priorities and a timetable for the ongoing negotiations, so that he can report back to leaders of the other 27 EU states at the European Council summit in Brussels on Thursday.

They also said their top deputies would immediately begin work on a third issue: How to avoid a "hard border" between Ireland and Northern Ireland that could endanger peace in a region that suffered decades of violence.

He added: "It's not as if Europe is leaving Britain; Britain wants to leave the EU".

Davis, a veteran Eurosceptic, told Barnier that his team aimed to maintain a "positive and constructive tone" during the talks.

May has advocated a hard Brexit, leaving both the single market and the customs union.

"I look forward to beginning work on that new future today".

With or without a deal, Britain will be out of the European Union on March 30, 2019.

A year after Britons shocked the continent by voting on June 23 to cut loose from their main export market, new 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.