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It was a clear rebuff to Mrs May’s stated ambition of wrapping up a new free trade agreement quickly.

Unite assistant general secretary Tony Burke said: “It’s absolutely clear that the EU team, Jean-Claude Juncker [president of the European Commission] and Barnier, have their ducks in a row, and it looks from our point of view that we in the United Kingdom are going to be incredibly weak because of the weakness of government“.

“The UK is leaving the European Union, not the contrary. It’s not the other way around”. “It’s not about punishment, it’s not about revenge”. “The consequences are substantial”.

May’s recent election debacle has revived feuding over Europe among Conservatives that her predecessor David Cameron hoped to end by calling the referendum and leaves European Union leaders unclear on her plan for a “global Britain” which majority regard as pure folly.

IG’s Josh Mahony said: “Comments from German Foreign Minister Gabriel has indicated that there is a “soft Brexit” route for the United Kingdom, yet with free movement of labour required to enable access to the single market, it is clear that many would be left wondering whether this this is even a Brexit at all”.

Only when these issues are settled can trade talks begin, according to Brussels.

October 19 – Mr Barnier is set to report back to the EU27 on whether sufficient progress has been made to move on to phase two of the talks, covering the UK’s future trade relationship with the remaining EU.

Mr Barnier and Mr Davis will meet every four weeks over the coming months, bringing their teams together for a matter of days each time. By Monday, he’d given up the fight.

The vote came as a profound shock to Brussels against a backdrop of rising anti-EU sentiment, with many – including now US President Donald Trump – predicting the bloc’s eventual break-up.

David Davis concedes that trade talks can not begin before Brexit divorce talks.

“No deal would be a very, very bad outcome for Britain, but there is a possible worse outcome and that is a deal that is deliberately structured to suck the lifeblood out of our economy over a period of time”. Currently, more than 3 million European Union citizens live in Britain, and 1 million British citizens live in other parts of the EU.

May was hoping to increase her support in the British election on June 8, but instead her party lost its outright majority and now has to try to form a workable government with a tiny party from Northern Ireland.

The UK will publish a detailed paper on Monday “outlining an offer” on citizens’ rights, Mr Davis said, which he hoped would lead to a swift agreement.

It also appears Mr Davis and Mr Michel Barnier may have to negotiate in the dark as staff have been told to switch off all the lights. Both are keen hikers and they exchanged presents reflecting their shared interest.

The EU’s Chief Negotiator, Michel Barnier, spent the weekend mountain hiking near his home in the French Alps.

They were joined by senior aides as they tucked into Belgian asparagus with Vinaigrette, red mullet with vegetables and fondant potatoes, vacherin (meringue cake) with wild strawberries, mocha coffee and cakes.

Despite the diplomatic pleasantries, the scale of the challenge quickly became clear, as both men openly acknowledged the risk that the talks could become dangerously overheated. “There will be no hostility on my side”.

Where did Theresa May go WRONG?

But her political weakening has prompted speculation that she will be forced to bend to opposing parties’ demands for a “soft Brexit“.

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