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UK’s May vows strong post-Brexit ties with France

By AFP   |   17 February 2017   |   9:59 pm  

British Prime Minister Theresa May / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday promised a close post-Brexit relationship with France on security and defence as she met with Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in London.

Both stressed the need for “an early agreement on the rights of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU” as Britain prepares to plot its course out of the union, according to a statement released by May’s Downing Street office.

“The Prime Minister was clear that while the UK is leaving the EU, we are not leaving Europe,” said the statement.

“They agreed on the need to maintain our close cooperation on security and defence, including through NATO.”

The pair also discussed unrest in Syria and Ukraine, migration and terrorism.

May was hosting Cazeneuve ahead of negotiations to set the terms of Brexit, which will begin when the British leader triggers Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, expected before the end of March.

May said she was “delighted” to meet with Cazeneuve, adding that they “worked so well together” when she was home secretary and he was France’s interior minister.

“There are many issues on which the UK and France have been working very well and our bilateral relationship is very strong and I look forward to being able to develop that across a number of areas,” she said.

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