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>> They've been forced on the defensive there. This looks too close to call. They're playing for time. Expect to hear that and more from political pundits, as Brexit plays out. I'm Reuters' Jacob Greaves, with conference team, Dagenham and Redbridge, training behind me in what is one of the few London Boroughs, that actually voted for Brexit.
Now, the UK Government lining up against the EU for crucial negotiations, what players are gonna take to the field.>> Prime Minister, Theresa May, is probably the first name on the team sheet. But also out front will be David Davis, the Secretary of State, actually in charge of Brexit.
The prominent eurosceptic, is known as a political maverick. He used to be a Special Forces Reservist, and grew up on a London council estate. His backroom staff are set to play a key role. Meet Olly Robbins, the top civil servant on Davis's team. He's made his name as a successful mediator.
As Director General of the Department for leaving the EU, Sarah Healey's been key to getting things running and ready for negotiating. Career diplomat Tim Barrow is a last minute substitute, drafted into the role as UK Ambassador to the EU, following the resignation of his predecessor. Of course, these figures can call on fresh legs from well known Cabinet politicians, like Boris Johnson and Chancellor Phillip Hammond.
They may need them. The EU can field some seasoned Brussels operators. The heavy hitters, of course, Angela Merkel, with Germany pulling the EU's purse strings, it's unlikely a deal to survive without Berlin's backing. But, the day to day legwork is said to be led by Michel Barnier, the EU's lead Brexit negotiator.
The former French foreign minister is known as a shrewd operator and may drive a hard bargain. Sabine Weyand will be his second in command. The German native is seasoned in trade talks and may prove a tough opponent. EU Council President, Donald Tusk is one of the bigger names.
He's will largely be a defensive task, keeping all the EU leaders onside. Diplomat Didier Seeuws will be his number two. Making sure the UK doesn't play divide and conquer. Both the UK and the EU say, the ultimate goal is the deal that works for both, but when the old kicks off, it might not be so cordial.