European parliament's Brexit point man Guy Verhofstadt has five big questions ahead of next week's negotiations

 
Mark Sands
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The European Parliament's leading Brexit voice has issued a list of questions for Downing Street to answer ahead of the launch of next week's negotiations.

Liberal MEP Guy Verhofstadt is demanding "clarity" from British negotiators on issues including the Good Friday agreement and the rights of EU nationals.

In a punchy intervention designed to hike the pressure on Downing Street, he is also asking how last week's election result will affect the position on issues like Single Market membership, after days of speculation of a softer approach to Brexit from Prime Minister Theresa May.

And despite French President Emmanuel Macron stating the UK could still opt to remain an EU member, Verhofstadt added this would not mean a return to previous circumstances.

"If Britain changes its mind, it would find an open door. But like Alice in Wonderland, not all doors are the same. It will be a brand new door to a new Europe.

"A Europe without rebates, without complexity, with real powers and with unity," he said.

Read More: Farage says May is in a "weak" position ahead of Brexit talks

Despite ongoing talks over the formation of a British government, May has committed to talks beginning imminently, and the Strasbourg parliament is hosting an MEPs debate ahead of negotiations.

The Brexit department's most senior civil servant, Oliver Robbins, met with EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier earlier this week to lay the groundwork for formal talks.

And calls are increasing for the government to adopt a more cross-party approach. Former Tory leaders John Major, William Hague and David Cameron have all called on may to seek consensus.