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Brexit negotiations on citizens' rights have started constructively - May

Brexit Secretary David Davis targeting a ‘deal like no other in history

More broadly, Brexit talks will have to address a range of regulatory issues, including laws about worker rights, climate and agriculture.

We want to find the best solution for them and their families, "said Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator for Brexit".

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

But many in Brussels fear that London has no real strategy, with May under pressure at home and still trying to close a deal with a conservative Northern Ireland party to stay in power, and facing criticism for her handling of the aftermath of a devastating tower block fire. The insistence of European Union figures and government to agree the "divorce terms" first, means agreeing a full trade deal by March 2019 is now highly unlikely.

Mr Barnier made clear that Brussels intends to stick to its timetable of dealing with the terms of Britain's withdrawal before moving on to discussing future trade relations.

Mrs May has repeatedly refused to guarantee European Union citizens' rights until agreement is reached with Brussels over the future of British citizens living in Europe.

Mr Davis, the Brexit Secretary, said it could take "until the end of the process" to resolve the issue, because it will be tied in with the trade and customs deals the United Kingdom is able to strike with Brussels.

"What we also need is certainty, for our companies in Belgium, in Europe", he said.

What's more, Davis made clear that there's little appetite in Britain - at least in the opening salvo of negotiations - for a so-called soft Brexit.

"The position we have agreed today is completely consistent with our long-term position". We must lift the uncertainty caused by Brexit.

"So it's the same as it was before".

"I am not in a frame of mind to make concessions, or ask for concessions", he said. "It's not about punishment, it's not about revenge".

Time is pressing. After the June 23, 2016, referendum to leave the bloc, the other 27 nations wanted to start the exit talks as soon as possible so they could work on their own future but Britain long seemed dazed by its own momentous move. "In the long run, this will be good for the United Kingdom and good for the rest of Europe", Johnson said at a meeting of European Union foreign ministers in Luxembourg.

The United Kingdom has chose to leave the European Union, it is not the other way around.

"This is a technically hard issue but it is one which I am certain is soluble, although it will probably take us until the end of the process when we have already decided what our customs and free trade arrangements are". Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said: "If we don't succeed, both sides will lose". "And the consequences are substantial".

British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to praise the good atmosphere at Monday's Brexit talks, and explain how to protect the rights of citizens hit by Britain's departure.