1. Exquisite Tweets from @JenniferMerode

    PreoccupationsCollected by Preoccupations

    Michel Barnier met Olly Robbins and Tim Barrow on Monday and this is what happened...
    #Brexit 1

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    Jennifer Rankin

    The British diplomats asked to start technical talks led by civil servants, while gov sorts out itself/Queen's speech 2

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    Jennifer Rankin

    Barnier said no. EU side want to ensure UK’s chief negotiator has a mandate from the British gov before formal talks can begin 3

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    Jennifer Rankin

    EU wants reliable, accountable, chief negotiator with a mandate, but not sure they will get one 4

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    Jennifer Rankin

    Barnier told the British he was open to a number of start dates, listing various days of the week. Robbins and Barrow could not name a day 5

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    Jennifer Rankin

    Barnier also spent some time explaining to the British the EU's preferred 4-week cycle for running the negotiations 6

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    Jennifer Rankin

    Remember UK not done trade talks for decades. The EU has scores of people who specialise in international negotiations, not just trade /7

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    Jennifer Rankin

    Brussels not convinced British know what they want, seeing no clear mandate for Brexit. 9

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    Jennifer Rankin

    EU talks with Robbins/Barrow cordial, but Brussels think British gov still does not get Brexit 10

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    Jennifer Rankin

    Don’t believe talk of re-writing mandate in a year. There is no plan B/second mandate 11

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    Jennifer Rankin

    May likes to say 'no deal is better than a bad deal'.
    In Brussels people think 'for British any deal is better than a bad deal' . 12 ends

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    Jennifer Rankin