Divorce bill focus of Brexit talks on Monday

One diplomat said Ms May tried to "hijack" the summit by drawing other leaders into Brexit talks, though European Union officials played down suggestions of any agenda row with London.

He also reiterated the Conservatives' commitment to reducing annual immigration to the tens of thousands, a target the government has missed for years and which is inconsistent with a Norway-style deal.

The Sunday Times said ministers within May's cabinet had "let it be known" they would oust the prime minister if they thought she could not pass the government's legislative programme in a vote expected on June 28. Negotiators aim to wrap up a deal by the end of 2018 so that it can be ratified before the United Kingdom leaves the bloc in March 2019.

The chancellor of the exchequer was asked whether he favored a softer version of Brexit - such as British membership of the EU single market or of a customs union.

Britain begins its Brexit negotiations this week in a much weaker position than it was just a month or so ago, though it was weaker than it seemed to imagine. Many young people also voted with an angry eye on Britain's exit, driven by thoughts of futures upended under a hard exit.

While European leaders try to gauge what to expect from the Brexit talks due to begin in Brussels on Monday, May is so weakened that her own Brexit strategy is the subject of public debate in her own party, and by her potential allies. Foster's Democratic Unionist Party has been in talks with May's Conservatives after the prime minister's party failed to win a majority in a national election.

May spent Thursday in talks with each of the five main political parties from Northern Ireland, including the DUP, aimed at getting a power-sharing executive running in the province before a June 29 deadline.

"We will build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans and that means giving Parliament the maximum amount of time to scrutinize these bills by holding a two-year session of Parliament", she said. Again, rather than impoverish its businesses, services and economy, European Union nationals are generally seen as vital to the 65-million-population country's well-being.

The unprecedented negotiations at the Commission's offices come nearly exactly a year after Britons voted last June 23 to leave the EU. They argue instead for a "soft" version, prioritising some form of continued access to the single market in order to minimise economic damage.

The EU says Britain must honour its contributions to the bloc's budget, which has already been agreed up to 2020, as well as commitments to development programmes for poorer member states. Severing its extremely complex and dense legal ties with the grouping it joined in 1973 will also require an unprecedented number of bills to be passed. Back then, Prime Minister Theresa May was still talking as though Britain held all the cards.

May called the election in a bid to increase her majority and strengthen her hand within her party ahead of the Brexit talks. These include Vietnam's domestic and foreign policy, ASEAN, EU, UK's politics and worldwide politics in the Asia-Pacific region.

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