The Guardian reports: Angela Merkel has rejected one of Theresa May’s key Brexit demands, insisting negotiations on Britain’s exit from the European Union cannot run in parallel with talks on the future UK-EU relationship.
“The negotiations must first clarify how we will disentangle our interlinked relationship,” the German chancellor said in Berlin. “Only when this question is dealt with can we – hopefully soon after – begin talking about our future relationship.”
In her six-page letter triggering article 50 and formally launching the process of leaving the EU, the prime minister said she believed it was “necessary to agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the European Union”.
The EU institutions and 27 remaining member states, however, have long said they were determined the divorce settlement, such as the rights of EU citizens in the UK and Britons on the continent and the size of Britain’s exit bill, must first be agreed before substantive talks on a future relationship could begin.
On a day of some drama in Brussels, Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, warned after receiving May’s letter that there would be “no winners” from Brexit, and the next two years would be a matter of “damage control”. [Continue reading…]