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Brexit negotiations between the UK government and EU officials began Monday with an embarrassing climb down for Secretary of State for Exiting the EU David Davis.

The UK government accepted the EU's timetable for talks, a change in position from David Davis' on 14 May of this year.

The EU had demanded an early agreement on the rights of EU nationals, the Northern Irish border and the Brexit divorce bill before any discussions of a trade deal.

Despite previously rejecting suggestions this would occur, describing the timetable as "wholly illogical", David Davis has accepted it.

When asked why he conceded to EU demands, Davis replied:

It's not when it starts. It's how it's concluded that matters.

The position we have agreed today is completely consistent with our long-term position.

This will do little to inspire confidence in a UK public already wholly unconvinced of the minority government's ability to carry out Brexit.

An online survey by YouGov, published Monday, found that only a quarter think that the government is well prepared for talks.

The only party supporters even remotely convinced that the government is prepared are supporters of the Conservatives.

Now's an opportunity for a reminder of Theresa May's reasoning, in her own words, for calling a general election. She argued that...

division in Westminster will risk our ability to make a success of Brexit

...and said:

The decision facing the country will be all about leadership.

It will be a choice between strong and stable leadership in the national interest, with me as your Prime Minister, or weak and unstable coalition government, led by Jeremy Corbyn, propped up by the Liberal Democrats - who want to reopen the divisions of the referendum - and Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

It's not looking very strong and stable now.

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