December 5, 2017 / 12:49 PM / a year ago

Spain's Rajoy says he expects next phase of Brexit talks soon

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May greets Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy outside 10 Downing Street, London, Britain December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

LONDON (Reuters) - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said he expected Britain and the European Union to progress soon into the next phase of Brexit negotiations, despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s problems in getting the political backing at home to move ahead. “I am absolutely convinced that, as soon as possible, we will get into the second phase of Brexit negotiations,” Rajoy said in a meeting with May in London on Tuesday.

May failed to clinch a deal on Monday to open talks on post-Brexit free trade with the EU after a tentative agreement with Dublin to keep the bloc’s rules in Northern Ireland angered her allies in Belfast, the Democratic Unionist Party.

Writing by William Schomberg; editing by Kate Holton

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