22nd Mar 2018

First Brexit meeting to focus on organisation

  • Barnier will welcome the UK negotiators in the Commission's headquarter on Monday. (Photo: European Commission)

The EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier and the UK’s Brexit minister David Davis will meet on Monday (19 June) for the first round of negotiations on the UK leaving the EU, almost a year after a majority of British voters decided in a referendum to quit the club.

After intensive talks on the start date, the negotiations will go ahead as planned by the EU, two days before the programme of British prime minister Theresa May’s new cabinet will be set out in the Queen’s speech on Wednesday (21 June).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Barnier will welcome Davis in the Berlaymont building, the headquarter of the European Commission, along with Sabine Weyand, the EU’s deputy negotiator, the UK’s Brexit secretary Olly Robbins and other officials at 11:00 am.

They will have a working lunch, followed by breakout sessions throughout the afternoon for working groups discussions. Barnier and Davis are expected to hold a joint press conference around 6:30 pm.

The talks will be conducted in French and English.

The initial meeting is expected to focus on how the talks will be structured, as the two sides still need to agree on the EU’s proposal of four-week negotiating cycles.

Negotiators are expected to later move onto the key issues of citizens’ rights, the financial settlement, and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

But no further dates for talks have been agreed as of now.

According to a source, it is likely that the UK will agree to negotiating cycles in line with the EU’s proposal. This means that each round of talks will consist of the first two weeks to work on negotiating positions, the third week for talks, and the fourth week for feedback and perhaps more talks at a political level.

The negotiations will be headed by the Commission’s team on the EU side, but the Council’s working group made up of diplomats from the 27 member states would be on-call for feedback.

Later next week, Barnier will debrief the EU 27 leaders on the first round of talks, who will in Brussels for the traditional June EU summit.

Philip Hammond, the UK’s chancellor of the exchequer, said on Friday that the government will want a mutually beneficial agreement.

“As we enter negotiations, we will do so in the spirit of sincere cooperation, taking a pragmatic approach to trying to find a solution that works both for the UK and for the European Union 27,” he told journalists in Luxembourg.

He said that the Brexit notification letter sent by Theresa May in March will be the basis for the negotiations for the UK, suggesting that the starting point would remain a “hard Brexit”.

Hammond has reportedly advocated for a softer landing, urging May to keep the UK in the customs union.

"We should prioritise protecting jobs, economic growth and prosperity,” he said on Friday.

Brexit talks begin amid uncertainty

As Brexit negotiations start today with the first EU member ever to leave the bloc, the level of uncertainty on what comes next remains as high as on Brexit referendum day almost one year ago.

UK agrees to EU conditions on Brexit talks

In their first meeting, the EU's Michel Barnier and Brexit minister David Davis agreed that talks on future relations will start only when "sufficient progress" has been made on divorce proceedings.


No precedents for post-Brexit Irish border

Glib comparisons with the US-Canada border, or municipal boundaries within London, do not stand up to scrutiny - or the reality of an internal Irish border with 275 crossing points in a land beset by 30 years of armed conflict.

News in Brief

  1. EU to have 'immediate' trade talks with Trump
  2. Separatist activist renounces Catalonia leadership candidacy
  3. EU puts conditions on Bayer-Monsanto merger
  4. Hard Brexit would hit poorer Irish households hardest
  5. Finland hosts secretive North Korean talks
  6. EU to unveil 3% tax on digital giants
  7. German elected S&D leader in European Parliament
  8. Germany: nearly €350m child benefit goes abroad

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EUobserverStart a Career in EU Media. Apply Now to Become Our Next Sales Associate
  2. EUobserverHiring - Finance Officer With Accounting Degree or Experience - Apply Now!
  3. ECR GroupAn Opportunity to Help Shape a Better Future for Europe
  4. Counter BalanceControversial Turkish Azerbaijani Gas Pipeline Gets Major EU Loan
  5. World VisionSyria’s Children ‘At Risk of Never Fully Recovering', New Study Finds
  6. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMeets with US Congress Member to Denounce Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  7. Martens CentreEuropean Defence Union: Time to Aim High?
  8. UNESDAWatch UNESDA’s President Toast Its 60th Anniversary Year
  9. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Condemns MEP Ana Gomes’s Anti-Semitic Remark, Calls for Disciplinary Action
  10. EPSUEU Commissioners Deny 9.8 Million Workers Legal Minimum Standards on Information Rights
  11. ACCAAppropriate Risk Management is Crucial for Effective Strategic Leadership
  12. EPSUWill the Circular Economy be an Economy With no Workers?

Latest News

  1. EU leaders set for 'stormy debate' on digital tax at summit
  2. EU praises Turkey on migrant deal despite Greek misery
  3. Judicial reforms 'restore balance', Poland tells EU
  4. Whistleblower fears for life as US arrests Malta bank chair
  5. Behind the scenes at Monday's EU talks on Russia
  6. US yet to push on Nord Stream 2 sanctions
  7. EU mulls coercion to get refugee kids' fingerprints
  8. Five east European states prevent new CAP consensus