Round 1: Brexit talks start at Brussels

Round 1: Brexit talks start at Brussels

"Now it's time to get down to work and make this a successful negotiation", Davis told reporters as Barnier welcomed him to the headquarters of the European Commission.

"The first serious test of the negotiations will be them agreeing to pay the bill", a senior European Union official said - the coming week is a vital moment to establish rapport among the senior civil servants who will handle what is arguably the most convoluted and far-reaching diplomatic deal of modern times.

Also to be determined is the cost of Britain's exit from the bloc. The EU has demanded Britain to pay some 60 billion euros (70 billion USA dollars) as exit fee.

The negotiations this week are expected to focus on the post-Brexit rights of citizens in each other's nations, the bill Britain has to pay to meet existing commitments, the border issue in Ireland and the pre-eminence of the EU's Court of Justice.

Davis said it was "incredibly important" to make progress, "that we negotiate through this and identify the differences so that we can deal with them and identify the similarities so that we can reinforce them". "We need to examine and compare our respective positions in order to make good progress".

Fox also said it would be "foolish" to go into the Brexit negotiations without being prepared to walk away, saying Britain's negotiating partners needed to believe Britain would do so rather than accept a bad deal.

The British side had urged over the past months an immediate start of trade talks, but Barnier had insisted that key issues of Brexit must be dealt with before trade talks begin.

He said he came under attack at the weekend from hard line Brexiteers "who are not happy with (my) agenda" after a series of cabinet leaks meant to undermine him.

Comments from Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that the European Union could go whistle if it thought the United Kingdom would pay a large bill to leave the European Union bloc were also met with scorn in Brussels.

It comes after reports emerged that Mr Davis would be carrying sensitive documents in a special briefcase that can't be accessed by foreign spies.

"We're seeing the division at cabinet level laid increasingly bare", said Ned Rumpeltin, head of currency strategy at The Toronto Dominion Bank in London, who sees the pound falling to US$1.26 (RM5.40) by the end of this quarter.



Other news