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European Union, UK start post-Brexit negotiations

The first round of negotiations is set to last until Thursday.

SNS | New Delhi |

The European Union (EU) and the UK have started the negotiations for a new partnership after Britain’s exit from the bloc on January 31.

Earlier on Monday, the negotiations began with a bilateral meeting between the chief negotiators, the EU’s Michel Barnier and the UK’s David Frost.

With around 100 British officials participating, the first round of negotiations will cover 11 areas including trade in goods and services, energy and transport, as the agenda showed on the UK government’s website.

Taking to the Twitter, Barnier said, “We approach these negotiations in a constructive spirit. We want to agree on an ambitious and fair partnership. We will respect our prior joint commitments”.

The first round of negotiations is set to last until Thursday.

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he was “not sure” it would be possible for the European Union and Britain to reach a trade deal by the end of the year.

The UK formally left the EU on January 31 and is now in a pre-agreed period of transition during which it is free to open up trade talks with countries around the world.

Brexit was originally scheduled for March 29, 2019, but was repeatedly delayed when MPs rejected a previous withdrawal agreement reached by the EU and former Prime Minister Theresa May.

Johnson was able to get his own deal through Parliament after winning the December 12, 2019, general election with a House of Commons majority of 80, on a pledge to “get Brexit done”.

The UK has an option to extend the transition but Johnson refuses to, and intends to enshrine the 2020 date in legislation, PM Johnson’s office said.

Johnson was re-elected Prime Minister following his landslide victory in the December 12 general election, deemed as one the UK’s most decisive and crucial.

(With inputs from agency)