Hard work begins Monday, says Brexit minister on eve of talks with EU

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-19 09:08

Hard work begins Monday, says Brexit minister on eve of talks with EU

David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union arrives for a cabinet meeting at Downing Street in London, Britain, June 12, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - The British Brexit minister David Davis will lead a team to Brussels Monday for the first round of official talks to negotiate Britain leaving the European Union (EU).

Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis described the talks as a mission to deliver on the will of the British people following the referendum of a year ago.

A statement issued by Davis' department Sunday in London said "Despite European leaders' attempts to leave open the possibility of Britain remaining in the UK, Davis will make it clear that he is determined to achieve a Brexit deal that works for the whole of the UK."

Davis will lead a team of experienced negotiators to Brussels, confident that he can get a positive outcome and secure a new deep and special partnership with the EU, said his spokesman.

"He will also set out a bold vision for the UK's future after it leaves the EU and the exciting opportunities that will arise from our exit," added the statement.

After ten months of planning, Davis will meet with the EU's Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier to agree the structure of the negotiations ahead, so officials have a framework within which to discuss substantive issues.

Davis said in a statement Sunday: "Now, the hard work begins. We must secure a deal that works for all parts of the United Kingdom, and enables us to become a truly global Britain."

"Leaving gives us the opportunity to forge a bright new future for the UK -- one where we are free to control our borders, pass our own laws and do what independent sovereign countries do," he said.

The start of the negotiations comes as work continues across the British government to prepare Britain for life outside of the EU.

This includes preparations for new bills on customs and immigration. It will also see the government introduce a Great Repeal Bill which will convert existing EU law into UK statute and enable the smoothest possible transition at the point of leaving.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Sunday if the negotiations are done right, it could present huge opportunities for Britain.

"I believe it will be a great settlement between Britain and the EU," Johnson wrote in the Sunday Times newspaper, adding: "one that will end the bickering and resistance that has marked so much of our relationship over the last few decades."

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