UK expects difficult Brexit negotiations, hopes for special relations with EU
David Davis (L) is welcome by Michel Barnier (R) ahead of a meeting at EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, June 19, 2017. EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
David Davis (2-L) and Michel Barnier (2-R) at the start of a meeting at EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, June 19, 2017. EPA/EMMANUEL DUNAND / POOL
David Davis gives a speech ahead of a meeting at EU Commission in Brussels, Belgium, June 19, 2017. EPA/STEPHANIE LECOCQ
Brussels, Jun 19 (efe-epa).- The United Kingdom's chief Brexit negotiator assured Monday that his country wanted a strong and special future relationship with the European Union despite the difficult upcoming talks.
Speaking alongside EU representative Michel Barnier ahead of the first round of Brexit negotiations, David Davis insisted that his country wanted to remain a close partner of the bloc.
"We want both sides to emerge strong and prosperous, capable of projecting our shared European values, leading in the world, and demonstrating our resolve to protect the security of our citizens," he said.
Around 48 percent of the British electorate voted to leave the EU in a referendum on June 23, 2016.
Prime Minister Theresa May triggered Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which notifies the bloc of a country's intention to leave and sets a two-year deadline for negotiations, in Mar. 2017, but talks were not able to begin as the EU had to vote on its position and the UK held a snap general election.
The EU would first be seeking to reach an agreement on EU citizens' rights, the UK's departure bill, and the future border between the Republic of Ireland, an EU member, and Northern Ireland, a region of the UK.