16.06.2017 | BREXIT BEGINS: David Davis confirms talks will start on Monday
Source - The Daily Express
After talks in Brussels, officials from Britain and the EU have agreed that formal negotiations under the Article 50 process can now start.
In a joint statement, officials said: “Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday June 19.”
EU officials have said the talks will be in Brussels.
The news will come as a welcome relief to the British Government, after a dismal election for Theresa May threatened to delay talks.
German chancellor Angela Merkel, French president Emmanuel Macron and EU chiefs Jean-Claude Juncker and Michel Barnier have all expressed their hopes that Brexit talk will start on schedule.
On Monday, the European Commission insisted it was "fully prepared and ready for the negotiations to start" the process.
The senior official at the Department for Exiting the European Union, Olly Robbins, has been in Brussels this week for preliminary talks.
Brussels has insisted negotiations surrounding Britain’s EU exit, taking in issues including the fee the UK will have to pay to sever its ties, must make sufficient progress before any discussion on a future trade agreement could begin.
The British Government wants the talks to take place in parallel during the Brexit process but both sides have made finding a solution to the issue of citizens' rights a priority.
In a hint at a softer approach, Mr Davis said on Monday "we will start down this process" by focusing on the divorce proceedings from the EU before moving on to trade.
Mrs May's weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit.
The Prime Minister has insisted the UK will leave the single market, replace customs union membership with a new deal and end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, but some of Britain’s leading political figures - including MPs within her own party - have urged Mrs May to reconsider some of her Brexit deman