The EU publishes its official plan for Brexit talks

A European Union flag is waved in front of Big Ben outside parliament after Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the process by which the United Kingdom will leave the European Union in London, March 28, 2017.

The EU Parliament's Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt added that it would be wrong for either side to use the issue of security as leverage in negotiations."I think the security of our citizens is far too important to start a trade-off of one and the other".

The fate of three million European Union citizens living in Britain and one million British people within the bloc's nations is at the top of leaders' agenda.

Tusk said there would be no parallel discussions about Britain's exit and its future relationship with the European Union but the negotiations could move to a second phase if there was "sufficient progress" in the exit talks.

The French president had a conversation with the prime minister on Thursday, delivering the same message made by German chancellor Angela Merkel and the European council president, Donald Tusk, that terms of the country's withdrawal from EU can not occur at the same time as trade talks.

"The EU 27 does not, and will not pursue a punitive approach - Brexit in itself is already punitive enough", he said. "But we believe it is necessary ot agree the terms of our future partnership alongside those of our withdrawal from the EU", May wrote.

May said she wants those to start "alongside" those on the withdrawal treaty while the EU's official line is that it wants to hold off until divorce terms are clear.

"We will take control of our own laws and bring an end to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in Britain".

And when talking about our future relationship, we obviously share the UK's desire to establish a close partnership between us.

Britain formally triggered the Brexit process on Wednesday.

"You can not use the security of our citizens in a negotiation and say 'oh, yeah, we're going to only cooperate on the security of our citizens in the fight against terrorism if we have a good trade deal,"' he said.

Barnier has said tackling those uncertainties will be his top priority, along with ensuring Britain pays what Brussels argues it owes as a share of commitments made by the European Union but not yet funded, maybe of the order of 60 billion euros.

"Today I can say that we will remain determined and united, also in the future, during the hard negotiations ahead", he added.

The Great Repeal Bill is a crucial aspect of Brexit and will go through the parliamentary process as negotiations begin.

These include the timeframe for wrapping up the EU-U.K. talks, which remains unclear but has been an early sticking point ahead of negotiations.

  • Zachary Reyes