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European Union says divorce bill, citizens' rights focus of Brexit talks

18 June 2017

"I can confirm as we enter negotiations next week we will do so in a spirit of honest cooperation, taking a pragmatic approach, trying to find a solution that works for the United Kingdom and the European Union 27", he said, referring to the bloc's remaining 27 members.

May is seeking a "confidence and supply" deal with the DUP that would see the party backing the Tory government on the Queen's Speech and budget requests.

The unprecedented negotiations at the Commission's offices come nearly exactly a year after Britons voted last June 23 to leave the EU.

"It takes two to tango and we're ready to dance", she said.

The prime minister met leaders of Northern Ireland' other political parties yesterday, some of whom had voiced concerns that a tie-up could destabilise local politics and undermine the British government's neutrality in overseeing separate talks to form a new power-sharing government in Northern Ireland.

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Since her gamble on a snap election failed a week ago, May has come under pressure from some in her own party to change her approach to Brexit talks. "We want to end the anxiety facing 4 million citizens".

"We're still in uncharted waters today and we don't know exactly how it's going to look, so we've got to plan ahead".

"We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account".

Arriving to a meeting with his counterparts in the 28-country EU, Hammond said his "clear view" is "we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward".

Shadow Brexit secretary Sir Keir Starmer has written to Mr Davis urging him to "reset" the Government's "belligerent and reckless" approach to leaving the European Union, warning that Theresa May's "inflexible" stance makes a good deal for Britain less likely.

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He wouldn't be drawn on whether he supported Britain's continued membership in the single market and said May's minority government will negotiate in a "pragmatic" manner, striving for a solution that works for both sides.

May's finance minister, Philip Hammond, said on Friday that Britain should prioritise protecting jobs and economic growth.

Britain said on Friday that no deal could be struck on exiting the European Union unless the future relationship with the bloc was taken into account.

Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Ms May's predecessors Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party members favour a sharp break with the EU. She has really hacked off the parliamentary party for obvious reasons.

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