Money, immigration, legal entanglements and the future of Ireland are among the many issues in contention and doubt as EU and UK begin Brexit negotiations.
There were frustrations on both sides and continued profound disagreement on issues such as British payments and the role of EU courts after Brexit.
Prime Minister Theresa May, her authority diminished after losing her majority in a June election she did not need to call, has struggled to control rivals.
With little more than a year to settle divorce terms before Brexit, deal or no deal, EU national leaders want Theresa May to outline a detailed plan.
May’s government published legislation on Thursday to sever political, financial and legal ties with the EU by 2019, and there will be high stakes when it is tabled in Westminster.
Talks begin amidst a politically uncertain environment, a weakened Conservative leadership and questions about the nature of Brexit itself.
May’s government hopes to ease companies’ concerns about doing business post-Brexit by converting the body of EU law into British legislation.
May’s government is seeking approval for a new law giving her the right to trigger Article 50 – the legal process for leaving the bloc – after the Supreme Court ruled last week that she could not take that decision unilaterally.
Brexit secretary David Davis began the process of passing a law that enables the UK government to initiate its exit from the European Union.
The document shows that May is trying to control key Brexit questions herself while her senior ministers are divided and the civil service is in turmoil.
The British government pledged to share information with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, although the commitment is targetted at Scotland in particular.
Britain’s new government has so far given little detail of what the country wants when it leaves the EU, saying it was focusing on preparing its negotiating stance for when it triggers the divorce procedure.
Davis, nicknamed ‘charming bastard’, worked in the government in Britain’s foreign office from 1994 to 1997, with the responsibility of negotiations with Europe.