Donald Tusk has outlined the EU's Brexit negotiation strategy

Brexit What happens after Article 50

Another issue that will have to be settled before talks can begin on a future trade agreement is how much Britain pays to the European Union as part of its divorce settlement.

The European Union's remaining 27 member states are set to embed in their Brexit negotiating guidelines that trade talks with the United Kingdom can only begin once there is clarity on the terms of an orderly withdrawal, according to a draft circulated among Europe's capitals.

SIGMAR GABRIEL, the German foreign minister has told Prime Minister Theresa May that there is no chance of the United Kingdom not paying a "divorce bill" before it completes its departure from the European Union.

"Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time, as suggested by some in the United Kingdom, will not be happen".

"These are draft guidelines and we look forward to beginning negotiations once they have formally been agreed by the 27 member states".

As well as fears for the Northern Irish peace process from a return of a hard border, the referendum result has also led to a renewed campaign for independence in pro-EU Scotland.

First, agreement on the principles for Brexit is needed and once sufficient progress is achieved, negotiations on a new relationship would be able to start, he said.

The guidelines represent the Council's formal response to Mrs May's letter on Wednesday notifying Brussels of the UK's intention to quit under Article 50. But once there is a tentative consensus between the two sides on the reciprocal treatment of citizens in each other's nations, billions in budget commitments, legal clarity for companies working in Britain and a solution for Ireland's border with the United Kingdom, the European Union says it would be willing to look ahead. The EU put emphasis on providing clarity to European citizens, businesses, stakeholders and worldwide partners early in the negotiations.

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European Council President Tusk: The EU does not want to punish Britain for Brexit.

Tusk responded on Thursday (30 March) by warning May that dividing tactics will not work. It will be sent to the 27 remaining member states for approval. The second will be used for talks over a future trade deal. "We expected robust positions to be taken at the start and let's see where we get to", a spokesman said. The EU guidelines make clear there can be no talks on the shape of any future relationship at this stage.

Donald Tusk has said he believes Theres May is too "decent" and "wise" to really threaten to withdraw security cooperation from the EU. "Brexit itself is already punitive enough", he told a news conference in the Maltese capital Valletta as he revealed his plans.

Legally, a trade deal can not be signed until Britain has left and many on both sides believe that, going by typical times to negotiate such accords, it will take several years beyond 2019 before one is in place.

In the draft guidelines sent to member states, the European Union says that its "overall objective in these negotiations will be to preserve its interests, those of its member states, its citizens and its businesses".

We need to think of people first.

"But we need to settle their status and situation after the withdrawal with reciprocal, enforceable and non-discriminatory guarantees".

Britain should not expect a "UK rebate" from the European Union in talks over its exit from the bloc, Germany's foreign minister said Thursday, in reference to a budget discount won by then-PM Margaret Thatcher.