Theresa May asks Emmanuel Macron to consider trade deal alongside EU divorce bill

Posted On: 
27th May 2017

Theresa May has pressed French President Emmanuel Macron to allow Brexit trade and divorce talks to take place side-by-side.

Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron meet at the G7 summit in Sicily
Dan Kitwood/PA Wire

In her first meeting with Mr Macron since his election, Mrs May appealed to him to change the minds of EU members states, who insist that Britain’s bill for leaving the EU must be settled before trade discussions can begin.

British officials said that Mrs May “made clear that Britain and the 27 EU member states should be discussing our future relationship with the EU at the same time as discussing the terms of our withdrawal”.

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Mrs May said after the meeting: “When we leave the EU it’s important we know not just the withdrawal terms but what our future relationship will be.”

But Mr Macron insisted that the EU would be “united in Brexit negotiations”.

He hinted that residency rights of both British and EU citizens was a priority by saying there were “hundreds of thousands of people living in your country, in our country, and sharing our lives”.