United Kingdom to Tackle Uncertainties Amid Brexit Negotiations Process

A year after its historic vote, Britain on Monday finally opened negotiations with the other 27 European Union nations about leaving the bloc, with the final outcome, due in 2019, as globally important as it now seems unpredictable.

"To that end we are starting this negotiation in a positive and constructive tone, determined to build a strong and special partnership between ourselves and our European allies and friends for the future", he said.

The occasion marks the start of Brexit negotiations after Prime Minister Theresa May activated Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty - the mechanism that officially notifies the European Union that a country wishes to leave the 27-member bloc - on March 29 and set a two-year negotiations period in motion.

She then announced - despite having ruled it out repeatedly - that she would seek a fresh mandate to give her the authority to push through a Brexit deal, or even walk away without one if need be.

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However, Britain's negotiating leverage is, arguably at its weakest level in more than a decade after a shambolic snap election result for Prime Minister Theresa May, which surrendered her parliamentary majority and has left her floundering to cut a deal with lawmakers in Northern Ireland in order to stabilize her government, and the ongoing weakness of the economy in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Britain appears to have given in on the EU's insistence that the negotiationsfirst focus on three key divorce issues, before moving onto the future EU-UK relationship and a possible trade deal.

"Sitting down for a first formal negotiation round is something in and of itself", an European Union source told AFP. The election of the fervently europhile Macron, and his party's sweep of the French parliament on Sunday, has revived optimism in Brussels. Anxious by mass immigration and loss of sovereignty, Britain previous year voted to end its decades-old membership of the 28-nation bloc in a shock referendum result. European Union diplomats hope this first meeting, and a Brussels summit on Thursday and Friday where May will encounter - but not negotiate with - fellow European Union leaders, can improve the atmosphere after some spiky exchanges.

"The best way we can spend this week is to rebuild trust", rather than tackle the big hard issues right at the start, another European source said.

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Another, larger protest also marched through west London , where hundreds of people headed to the burned-out building tower. The 24-storey tower that once housed up to 600 people in 120 apartments is now a charred ruin.

Five major United Kingdom business bodies have come together to call for continued access to the European single market until a final Brexit deal is made with the EU.

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