Naughty or nice? Brexit begins with gift exchange

Brexit negotiations, which finally got underway today, are, for now, all smiles.

But, if you’re any doubt about the slog ahead over smoothing the way for Britain to become the first-ever country to quit the EU, then just take a look at the gifts exchanged as talks began in Brussels.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier gave his British counterpart a hiking stick, while David Davis presented Barnier with a book on walking, according to Politico.

Both presents can be interpreted as mischievous and knee-deep in analogies.

Was Barnier’s gift to Davis a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Conservatives needing something or someone to lean on in light of their disastrous election performance?

A nod, perhaps, to the fact they will require the support of the Democratic Unionist Party to command a majority in the House of Commons?

In the same vein, Davis’ gift to Barnier, who hails from a mountainous region in south-east France, could

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