DAVID Davis and Michel Barnier have kicked off the Brexit negotiations this morning with a historic handshake in Brussels.
The Brexit Secretary and EU’s chief negotiator appeared together on stage as they face off in the opening round of what promises to be bruising talks over the UK’s exit.
Speaking at the start of the talks, Mr Davis said they were about building “a new deep and special relationship”.
Appearing alongside Mr Barnier he paid his condolences to the victims of this morning’s attack in Finsbury Park, as well as those who have died in the Portuguese wildfires.
He said: “At testing times like these reminded of values and resolve we share with closest allies. There is more that unites us than divides us.”
Mr Davis said he expected “challenging times ahead” in talks expected to stretch for around 16-18 months ahead of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU in 2019.
Mr Barnier said that the purpose of the talks was to deliver an “orderly withdrawal of the UK from the EU”.
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