Britain says no European Union exit deal unless future relationship taken into account

"It's our dominating theme today and will remain so over the weekend as bodies are recovered and we start to get a sense of the scale of the tragedy".

According to the statement issued on Thursday, the European Union and the United Kingdom are set to begin negotiations on Article 50, which was triggered on March 29 and sets out the procedure for withdrawing from the 27-member bloc, reports Efe news.

Only if "sufficient progress" is made on those thorny topics will he allow discussions to turn to the trade deal that May wants.

Britain must quickly end the "uncertainty" over Brexit talks caused by a chaotic election result, the European Parliament's Brexit pointman, Guy Verhofstadt, said Tuesday.

"Our view is that withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other", said the spokesman.

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The Brexit Department said in a statement that the UK's withdrawal and future ties are "intimately linked". "We are clear this is what is set out in Article 50".

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

Hammond said his presence at the EU finance ministers' meeting was "a sign of our commitment to being close partners with the European Union after we've left".

May previously wanted the trade deal to be discussed in tandem with the split given the lack of time on hand and to win trade-offs, grant certainty to businesses and maintain support for Brexit back home. The U.K. has only until 29 March 2019 to settle its divorce bill from the European Union and negotiate its future trading relationship with continent. May's Conservatives have lost their majority in parliament, party members blamed what one called a " just awful" campaign, training their ire on an election team that highlighted the 60-year-old's flaws by sticking doggedly to an agreed script instead of masking her weaknesses.

Her spokesman said Britain would not change its stance on Brexit, though May told her lawmakers she would seek a broader consensus in the party on her approach.

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