Britain and the European Union opened Brexit negotiations Monday. The British minister charged with negotiating the deal, David Davis, met Monday his E.U. negotiating counterpart, Michel Barnier. Fact is British society has remained deeply divided about the meaning of the Brexit vote even today.
A lot of aspects was already unclear hours before negotiations began. British leaders were still arguing about what precisely to demand from the European Union. “We are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves, our European allies and friends,” the minister Davis said. “I hope today we can identify priorities and a timetable that would allow me to report to the European council later this week that we had a constructive opening of negotiations,” Barnier’s answer was.
The EU and UK flags and a separation space
At this time and in this special unprecedented moment in the history of EU, leaders of major European nations expressed the hope in a reconciliation between U.K. and EU. “We want to leave the door open to the British,” German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told to media. But European leaders have remained united that Britain cannot have full access to European markets unless it also allows full access to its own. Splits have opened in the British government about the Brexit strategy and the exact direction to move is unknown yet. Prime Minister Theresa May plans to present E.U. leaders on Thursday with a proposal that would detail British plans for E.U. citizens living inside Britain. Under treaty rules, Britain will leave the European Union in March 2019.