September 22, 2017 / 6:46 PM / 2 years ago

EU leaders want clarity on citizens, Brexit financial terms and Ireland

FILE PHOTO - French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech to mark the 500th anniversary of Protestant Reform at the Hotel de Ville City Hall in Paris, France, September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday that in Brexit talks, rules on the settlement of European Union citizens, the financial terms of Britain’s departure from the bloc, and the question of Ireland must be clarified before other issues can be tackled.

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo sounded a similar tune, reacting to a speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May in Florence, Italy, during which she laid out Britain’s ambitions after leaving the bloc.

“Before we move forward, we want to clarify matters concerning the settlement of European citizens, the financial terms of exit and the question of Ireland,” Macron said in a joint briefing after a visit by Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila to Paris.

“If these three points are not clarified, we will not be able to advance on the rest,” Macron said.

Szydlo said that for Poland the key issue was the rights of Polish citizens in Britain, and that Britain must also fulfil its finiancial obligations.

The EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier said in a statement that May’s speech showed willingness to move forward.

Reporting by Bate Felix and Lidia Kelly; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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