Davis meets with key negotiator in Brussels to pave way for Brexit

Secretary of State David Davis
Secretary of State David Davis
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Brexit Secretary David Davis has travelled to the Continent in an effort to forge links with key players in the process of leaving the European Union.

In his first major international visit in the new role, Mr Davis is expected to build on the work of fellow Ministers in laying the groundwork for “positive” negotiations.

The Haltemprice and Howden MP began his trip in Brussels yesterday, where he met with the European Commission’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier.

He will also meet with the European Parliament’s negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, and other senior MEPs in Strasbourg today.

Officials have stressed the visit is not an attempt to open formal Brexit negotiations, but “will build on the cross-government work already done to prepare” for the process.

It is understood that during their meeting Mr Davis and Mr Barnier discussed “working towards an orderly withdrawal of the UK”.

Speaking ahead of today’s meeting, the Secretary of State said he wants to ensure a “positive and productive” relationship with “our closest neighbours”.

“The people of the UK have made a clear decision to leave the EU, and that is one the Government will respect and implement,” he said.

“But Britain will continue to be the same outward-looking country that it has always been.

“I am confident that by 
working together we will be able to secure a deal that works in 
the mutual interests of the UK and the rest of the European Union.”

The trip comes ahead of 
the Prime Minister’s second European Council meeting next month.