Britain still questions Brexit payment idea

Talks with the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier will focus on the status of expats, the UK's "divorce bill" and the Northern Ireland border.

As with Monday's seven hours of meetings between Barnier, Davis and their teams, her emphasis is expected to be on easing tensions that have seen some spiky exchanges in recent months.

How the negotiations progress will be monitored closely by investors and business leaders. "In the long run, this will be good for the United Kingdom and good for the rest of Europe".

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.

Brexit Secretary David Davis will call for "a deal like no other in history" as he heads into talks with the EU.

Ahead of his arrival in Brussels, U.K. negotiator David Davis says "there should be no doubt" about British strategy.

What concerned companies most was May's threat to walk away from the talks if they did not go her way - a pledge made to reassure eurosceptics in her party that she would not crumble.

In the past few days, the softly spoken Hammond, whose future as Chancellor seemed to hang in the balance before May lost her Conservative party's majority in this month's vote, has made clear the silence he kept during the campaign had ended.

Britain and European Union launch Brexit talks in Brussels
Davis said the talks were off to a "promising start" and denied that Britain had caved in on the sequencing of the talks. Mr Barnier gave Mr Davis a hand-carved wood walking stick from his home town, Savoie in the French Alps.

The government on Saturday said parliament would hold a special two-year session starting this week, sitting for double the normal time to allow it to overhaul European Union legislation.

Freedom of labor movement is a tenet of European Union membership and May initially interpreted the referendum result as a demand to stop that.

VDMA managing director Thilo Brodtmann said in a statement that "the European Union and Great Britain must absolutely avoid being left without an agreement in two years".

If no exit agreement is reached by March 2019, Britain will face the prospect of trading under higher tariffs and more red tape. "We must first tackle the uncertainties caused by Brexit", centering on citizens living on each other's territory, border arrangements between Ireland and the United Kingdom and the amount that Britain stands to pay to get out of its previous European Union commitments, Barnier said.

But Brussels has ruled out any consideration of those issues until progress has been made on its key demands -Britain's exit bill, estimated by Brussels at around 100 billion euros ($112 billion); the rights of three million European Union nationals living in Britain and the one million Britons on the continent; and the status of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland. In a bloc where member states persistently disagree on everything from finances to migration, Tusk has been able to ensure remarkable unity in the face of Brexit, the biggest challenge in the EU's 60-year history. The UK has ruled out paying such a sum, suggesting it could seek a chunk of the EU's assets as part of a "fair settlement", although it might have to pay something to ease a trade accord.

Britain already appears to have capitulated to the EU's insistence that talks first focus on three key divorce issues, before moving onto the future EU-UK relationship and a possible trade deal. "But we want to keep the door open for the British".

The talks will be in English and French, they said in a joint statement.

An EU official said Britain still refused to accept it would owe Brussels anything.

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