Days after a suggestion from French President Emmanuel Macron that Britain could still choose to remain, Davis said there would be no backtracking from Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to deliver on Brexit, for which Britons voted in a referendum nearly a year ago.
Only if “sufficient progress” is made on those thorny topics will he allow discussions to turn to the trade deal that May wants.
“Our view is that withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other”, said the spokesman.
“We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account”.
“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”.
The EU’s executive Commission said in a statement Friday that the first round of negotiations in Brussels will be part of a “sequenced approach to the talks”.
Mr Hammond’s comments are likely to be seen as reflecting a softer approach to Brexit than Mrs May, who has insisted that no deal would be better than a bad deal. “We will negotiate in good faith but it is a negotiation, we recognize there will be an exchange of views and we will take that forward in a spirit of genuine cooperation”.
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has bowed to European Union demands to focus the initial stage of Brexit talks on settling the divorce rather than trying to arrange a future trade relationship at the same time, according to two EU officials with knowledge of the preparations.
The Chancellor had been due to use a high-profile speech in the City of London on Thursday night to send out a message the Government would protect business from shocks during the Brexit process.
The event was cancelled in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.