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Brexit Talks Begin…Johnson Promises ‘Happy Resolution’ | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. Reuters

Brussels- The European Union and Britain officially launched on Monday Brexit talks that are expected to last for at least two years amid doubts about the position of the British government, which was weakened by the results of the recent legislative elections, and optimism by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson who is expecting a happy resolution for the talks.

EU Chief Negotiator Michel Barnier said that Britain and the European Union have agreed on the priorities and the agenda of Brexit talks after the first round that began on Monday.

In a joint press conference with his British counterpart David Davis, Barnier said that they have agreed on the dates and on the priorities of the talks.

The two parties also agreed on holding one-week monthly rounds of negotiations, noting that the next round will be held on July 17 and will tackle the main issues of Britain’s separation from the European bloc.

For his part, Davis said that his team aimed to maintain a “positive and constructive tone” during the talks.

“We are … determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves, our European allies and friends,” Davis added.

EU diplomats hope this first meeting, and a Brussels summit on Thursday and Friday where Theresa May will meet fellow EU leaders, will improve the mood after some spiky exchanges.

For his part, and sounding conciliatory, Johnson said as he arrived at a meeting with fellow EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg that he looked forward to “a happy revolution” in relations that would be good for Britain and the rest of Europe.

“The most important thing I think now is for us to think about the new partnership, the deep and special partnership that we want to build with our friends,” said Johnson, who campaigned in last year’s referendum to leave the EU.

“I think the whole process will lead to a happy resolution which can be done with honor and profit to both sides.”

Johnson said that while there would be “lots of discussions about the nature of the deal, about money and so on, the most important thing is to raise our eyes to the future.”

“We must think about the deep and meaningful partnership with Europe,” he said.