European Union to open Brexit talks with divorce bill and citizens' rights

May has said Britain will leave both the single market and the customs union.

The EU's negotiator Michel Barnier dismissed the suggestion of postponing the negotiations and said such a delay would only prompt further instability.

"If the Government cannot even secure a deal with the DUP, how on Earth can they get a deal with the EU?"

The report cited unnamed sources, and the finance ministry declined to comment.

Theresa May's disastrous election result has thrown the Brexit negotiations into question with no clear sense of when they will begin or what sort of Brexit and future relationship the United Kingdom is now seeking.

The Commission said on Friday: "The opening of negotiations at political level next week will focus on issues related to citizens' rights, the financial settlement, the Northern Irish border and other separation issues, as part of the sequenced approach to the talks".

"It includes money, they want to talk about that, we think it should come later, and Northern Ireland".

May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result and on Monday faced her MPs and vowed to govern.

Philip Hammond to prioritise economic prosperity in Brexit talks
When asked if a deal was in the making, DUP leader Arlene Foster told reporters in Dublin: "I think you know it takes two to tango and we're ready to dance".

The first day of formal Brexit negotiations follows "talks about talks" between Commission officials and British civil servants this week. "She is a formidably good prime minister".

She will have to manage conflicting demands from within her own party, including a proposal for business groups and lawmakers from all parties to agree a national position for Britain's most complex negotiations since World War Two.

May faces a hard balancing act.

The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions of Brexit.

The European Parliament, which named former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt as its Brexit point man past year, will have the final say on any deal on Britain's exit from the EU.

The veteran conservative predicted that Britain would regret its departure from the bloc at some point in the future.

"Obviously it's not great that things are being delayed", an European Union source said on condition of anonymity, adding that Brussels officials had been "glued to their TV screens and Twitter" for the British election results.

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