Government says it has been "crystal clear" on approach to Brexit negotiations

Caitlin Morrison
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Brexit talks begin on Monday (Source: Getty)

The department for exiting the European Union says it has been "crystal clear" about its approach to the Brexit negotiations.

Talks are due to begin on Monday, before the new government has been agreed upon. Theresa May is currently trying to agree a deal with the DUP, after the Tories' majority was demolished in last week's General Election, resulting in a hung parliament.

“As we set out in the Article 50 letter, our view is that withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other," a spokesman for the department, which is headed up by David Davis, said.

"We are clear this is what is set out in Article 50. We believe that the withdrawal process cannot be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account.

"As the EU has itself said, ‘nothing is agreed, until everything is agreed’. As we also said in our Article 50 letter, ‘agreeing a high-level approach to the issues arising from our withdrawal will of course be an early priority’. But the withdrawal and future are intimately linked."

The spokesman added: “In particular, we want to move ahead on securing the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU. We want to end the anxiety facing 4m citizens.

"That has always been our first aim and that is what we will do. That is why we are pushing ahead with negotiations on Monday."

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