Finally, Britain kicks off Brexit negotiations with EU

The Chancellor's words are in stark contrast to the bullish message sent out by the government's Brexit department ahead of Monday's talks.

While the European Union negotiating team led by Michel Barnier has been ready for months, Britain stalled even after it triggered the two-year process on March 29.

Then it became apparent that the former prime minister failed to draw up any contingency plans in case this country chose to quit Brussels' rule.

The Chancellor says no deal would be "very, very, bad" for Britain.

The hung Parliament has led to the belief that the Brexit discussions have shifted from a hard to a soft stance, explained here.

Cabinet in "civil war" over May's Brexit plans.

The Sunday Telegraph reported May faces a "stalking horse" leadership challenge.

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

A member of protocol changes the EU and British flags prior to the arrival of EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier and British Secretary of State David Davis at EU headquarters in Brussels on Monday, June 19, 2017. Brexit will deliver "a deal like no other in history", he added.

No. Except perhaps in agreeing a schedule for these talks and the separate strand of talks on "the future relationship" post-Brexit - ie trade.

At a press conference held before negotiations begin, Davis said "we are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone".

European Union negotiator Michel Barnier said the negotiations which should lead to a breakup by March 2019 "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".

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It is the beginning of a long slog for both Theresa May's Government and the European Union, with the talks expected to last until October 2018 before a deal can be agreed.

Commons leader Andrea Leadsom, a leading Brexit supporter, said she believes the two-year timetable can be met.

May's foreign secretary Boris Johnson has insisted previously that such an outcome would be "perfectly ok".

Appearing on same program, Labour's Brexit spokesman Sir Keir Starmer said Britain woulc definitely leave the European Union, and that doind so would prevent it continuing as a full member of the single market.

"If the government cannot even secure a deal with the DUP, how on earth can they get a deal with the European Union?" asked MP Alistair Carmichael.

The European Council president will be a key mediator between the other 27 EU leaders for the duration of the negotiations.

In a scathing attack on May's failed election campaign, Hammond also told the Andrew Marr Show that he had been prevented from selling the government's record on the economy.

"The end result is that in my judgement we did not talk about the economy as much we should have done".

"Many people are afraid that what is presented as a very generous offer will not be seen as very generous, which could really contribute to a negative atmosphere", a European source said.

"I do not know which particular line of approach is being made by the Government because they are in complete division, so I think actually removing this Government and allowing a Labour government, if necessary a minority government, to come into place would give us clear direction on all of this".

The Sunday Times reports that Conservative backbenchers are already drafting letters of no confidence ahead of the speech.

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