BRUSSELS The European Union and Britain need to make rapid progress on initial issues in Brexit negotiations and quickly start talking about their new trade and political relationship, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Saturday.
Rutte, arriving for EU talks to finalise guidelines for their Brexit negotiator, said the two sides first needed to come to agreement over the border with Ireland, the exit bill and the rights of EU and British citizens living abroad.
"If you push the discussion on these as far along as possible, say now we have trust, then we need quickly to talk about the future relationship - in terms of commerce, but also in politics," Rutte said.
"First there must be sufficient progress on items such as the bill, the border, the rights of people, but then it is clear a moment comes, and it cannot take too long, and you must time it well, but that you can talk about the future relationship."
(Reporting By Philip Blenkinsop)