The European Union is ready to talk to Britain on a future free trade deal before the two sides agree final terms on Brexit, draft EU negotiating guidelines issued on Friday show.
As part of a “phased approach”, Britain would just have to show “sufficient progress” on its divorce settlement in a first phase of negotiations and EU states could release a lock and agree to launch trade talks in a second phase.
But that concession to Theresa May two days after she triggered a two-year countdown to withdrawal was accompanied by elements in the draft circulated by EU summit chair Donald Tusk that the British prime minister may find less palatable.
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