Start of EU Negotiations

Almost one year on from the referendum, negotiations have commenced between David Davis and Michel Barnier over the UK’s future relationship with the EUThe UK appears to have accepted the EU’s position that there must be substantial progress on the terms of the exit (including the ‘Brexit Bill’) before talks can commence on the terms of a new trade arrangement. The most immediate points to be discussed include the status of UK and EU citizens living abroad and the nature of Northern Ireland’s new relationship with the EU. The latter may be influential on the UK’s final position on the single market/customs union, with the alternative to remaining in the single market seemingly being a hard border. However, as Davis (quoting Churchill) noted, ‘The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity; the optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty’.