Britain to hold special two-year parliament session to tackle Brexit

Britain to hold special two-year parliament session to tackle Brexit

European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said outlining negotiation priorities and a timetable were on the agenda of Monday's meeting.

The election debacle has left her weakened and fuelled speculation over her position.

The first round of talks will set the agenda for the next 18 months as Britain and Europe wrestle with the future.

May has yet to change tack formally and doing so would risk infuriating euroskeptics in her Tory party who might still prove strong enough to scupper a deal or to topple her as leader if they believe she's backsliding. The UK wouldn't be taking any sh*t from anyone, she said (not quite like that).

Brexiteers accept there is likely to be some short-term economic pain but say Britain will thrive in the longer term if cut loose from what they see as a doomed experiment in German-dominated unity and excessive debt-funded welfare spending.

Monday morning's terror attack in London and devastating fires in Portugal reminded him that "there is more that unites us than divides us".

Anxious by immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain past year voted to end its decades-old membership of the 28-country bloc - the first state ever to do so - in a shock referendum result.

Before lunching on Belgian asparagus, red mullet and meringue cake, the two exchanged gifts that homed in on a shared love of hiking: Davis received a walking stick from Barnier's native Savoy Alps and Barnier a first edition of a French mountaineer's Himalayan memoir - "Regards vers Annapurna".

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It certainly is. Davis has said that while the United Kingdom is pulling out of the single market and the customs union and ending the free movement of labour, he wants an agreement that replicates as far as possible Britain's existing trade arrangements with the EU.

Before the election, May proposed a clean break from the European Union: leaving its single market, which enshrines free movement of people, goods, services and capital, and proposing limits on immigration and a bespoke customs deal with the EU.

How the negotiations progress will be monitored closely by investors and business leaders. Business leaders say the uncertainty means they are having to plan on the assumption that Britain leaves without a proper deal. The pound has fallen about 14 percent against the dollar since the June 23 referendum, pushing up inflation even as the economy shows signs of slowing. Such conversations mark a shift from the pre-election talk of a "hard Brexit" and May's onetime warning she would walk away from the talks if disappointed.

Brexit negotiations start Monday, after British Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in an election meant to strengthen her hand.

"We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity", he said in Luxembourg last week. While denying they want to punish their neighbor, European Union officials have warned Britain off trying to "cherry pick" the benefits of membership and said it will be left worse off outside the bloc than inside. With Germany's principled chancellor, Angela Merkel, who is likely to be returned in Federal elections in November, he is expected to ensure that the European Union, despite its many divisions, remains a continuing force in the world.

"I think it's premature to speculate about the outcome on the first day of talks", she told reporters in Berlin.

"Both sides will also discuss the structure of the negotiations and the issues that need to be addressed over the coming months".

At stake is not just Britain's future but also Europe's post-war political order and its place in the world which could be fatally undermined without an agreement by the March 2019 deadline. The "cliff edge" businesses fear will have been stepped over.

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