The time has come, the EU and the UK are finally on the negotiations table. EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier, welcomed UK’s counterpart David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, as the British have responded positively to Barnier’s call to open the negotiations at a political level, a week after preparatory “talks about talks” at a civil service level.
According to Barner, opening Brexit negotiations would help tackle the uncertainty caused by Brexit. “I hope we can identify our priorities and timetable,” added the EU Chief Negotiator who looks forward to updating the EU-27 heads of state and government at the 22-23 June European Council that is to take place in Brussels later this week.
As for the UK, Davis attempted to build bridges with Barnier in front of the cameras, suggesting that “there is more that unites us than to divide us.” As Davis comes to the negotiations table without any position papers submitted on behalf of Theresa May’s government, he admits that negotiations will be considered “challenging times ahead”.
“We will do all that we can to ensure that we will deliver a deal that works in the best interest of all citizens,” added Davis at the Berlaymont VIP corner. “To that end, we are starting this negotiation in a positive, constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves and our European allies and friends for the future.”
Before Chief Negotiators are questioned by Brussels press corps this afternoon, a working lunch between Barnier and Davis is expected to take place after midday, followed by working groups and meeting of negotiations coordinators: European Commission’s Deputy Chief Negotiator Sabine Weyand on behalf of the EU and Olly Robbins, Permanent Secretary, of the UK’s Department for Exiting the EU, before a final closing session for the day takes place between Barnier and Davis.