“From a European point of view, as long as the negotiations are not over, there is still a possibility to change the course of events”, Macron said on Tuesday after talks with May. “That will be in our mutual interest, but we 27 will formulate our interests very clearly and hopefully together”.
Both sides will put top advisers to work immediately on a border agreement between Ireland and the United Kingdom, aiming to make sure the Irish peace agreement and the common travel area should as unaffected by Britain’s European Union departure as possible.
The talks will be in English and French, they said in a joint statement.
Of the 35 per cent of Labour supporters who said quitting the European Union motivated their vote, 47 per cent explicitly said they wanted a soft Brexit compared with 4 per cent who wanted a hard Brexit, while 27 per cent were opposed to Britain leaving at all.
The association represents 3,200 businesses with a million employees in Germany making industrial machinery.
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, said that a “fair deal” was positive and promised a “constructive attitude” to the talks.
Philip Hammond has warned failing to secure a Brexit deal would be “very, very bad” for Britain ahead of the start of exit talks in Brussels on Monday.
Speaking in the Belgian capital Monday at the formal start of Brexit negotiations, the U.K. Brexit Secretary David Davis said: “It is at testing times like these that we are reminded of the values and the resolve we share with our closest allies in Europe”.
The EU wants its citizens to retain all of the rights they now enjoy, and would extend the same offer to British citizens living in other member states.
The hardline faction, which includes Brexit Secretary David Davis, Defense Secretary Michael Fallon and Environment Secretary Michael Gove, wants a clean break with the European Union in order to regain full control over Britain’s borders and do trade deals with non-EU countries.
The EU is also seeking British commitments to meet all past EU spending pledges when it leaves the bloc, a bill European officials say could amount to upward of EUR60 billion ($67.2 billion).
“It’s important to remember that negotiations on some of the most crucial business issues, such as the nature of the future UK-EU trading relationship, won’t begin straight away”.
Still, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson remained upbeat Monday and thinks that the Brexit negotiations will yield “a happy resolution that can be done with profit and honor for both sides”.
The pound rose slightly against the dollar, reaching more than $1.28 at noon, but fell against the euro today as Brexit negotiations finally began in Brussels.
Still, Johnson called on people to look at the more distant future.
“We should be protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity”, Hammond said as he arrived for a meeting of European Union finance ministers in Luxembourg.
“We expect the Macron reforms to transform France like the Thatcher reforms had cured the erstwhile sick man of Europe, the United Kingdom, some 35 years ago”, said Berenberg European economist Holger Schmieding.
The arch-federalist former Belgian PM, who this year published a book calling on EU states to forge “a more ideal Union”, warned last week Britain could lose its rebate and opt-outs if it changes its mind and decides to stay.