Merkel says EU future more important than Brexit talks

"That's been an important issue, we've wanted it to be one of the early issues that was considered in the negotiations, that is now the case, that work is starting", she told reporters as she arrived.

In a statement, Khan said: "The prime minister sought a mandate from the British people for her version of hard Brexit but the electorate registered their opposition".

May will attend a European Council summit Thursday to speak to her European counterparts about her plans for the 3 million EU nationals living in Britain - an issue she says is her first priority for early agreement in the Brexit talks.

In their June 2016 referendum, the majority of the British citizens voted in favor of Brexit (51.9% to 48.1%). "We need to bring back to Britain control of our laws and control of our borders", he said.

"We will nearly certainly need an implementation period, outside the (EU's) customs union itself, but with current customs border arrangements remaining in place, until new long-term arrangements are up and running", he said, in a speech yesterday.

The summit will be the first meeting between May and European Union leaders since her Conservative party unexpectedly lost its majority in a 8 June election, leaving her in charge of a so-called "zombie government".

According to a Government statement, he will also thank European Union leaders for prioritising Irish issues in the Brexit negotiations, but he will recommend that the talks move quickly towards Britain's future trading relationship with the EU. The UK government has been keen to get an early agreement reassuring anyone in this position, and now it appears the European Union too wishes to press on with this matter.

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"One of the things that I will be calling on with other European leaders today is that we do more working together to ensure that we stop the spread of extremism on line, that we prevent terrorists from having a safe space online and we keep our citizens safe", she said.

Given that a disorderly departure would have greater impact on the United Kingdom economy than Europe's, officials have warned that Brussels would have the upper hand in several aspects of the talks because of the limited time available to conclude a wide-ranging exit deal.

"We want this negotiation to take place in a good spirit".

It's still unclear how this divergence in performance between the two sides of the Brexit negotiating table will play out. Northern Ireland is the region most affected by Brexit and the region that will suffer most. If its assessment is positive, the talks will then move on to "scoping the future relationship on trade and other matters".

Mr Varadkar is expected to raise the Paris Climate Agreement, security, as well as economic and trade issues. It gets weaker when it allows its principles to be rejected.

"It's not when it starts it's how it finishes that matters", he said. "The UK has asked to leave the European Union, not the other way around, so we each have to assume the consequences of our decisions and the consequences are substantial", he replied, when asked if the European Union was making any concessions of its own.

Article 50, the EU's exit procedure, does not say what happens if a country that has already launched the process changes its mind. It's not about punishment, it is not about revenge.

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