BRUSSELS-British Prime Minister Theresa May will set out her proposals for the future of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom after it leaves the bloc, kicking off potentially thorny discussions that will serve as an early measure of her ability to negotiate.
Speaking over dinner at the Brussels summit, Mrs May told leaders of the other 27 European Union nations: "The UK's position represents a fair and serious offer and one aimed at giving as much certainty as possible to citizens who have settled in the UK, building careers and lives and contributing so much to our society".
'What I am going to be setting out today is clearly how the United Kingdom proposes to protect the rights of European Union citizens living in the UK and see the rights of UK citizens living in Europe protected.
Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel immediately counted himself out.
Prime Minister Theresa May, leading a "zombie" government after a disastrous election, on Wednesday unveiled a diluted programme of action that included the mammoth legislation needed to take Britain out of the EU.
"The election result was not the one I hoped for, but this government will respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent", May said in remarks introducing the policy plan.
Formal talks started on Monday, with Brexit Secretary David Davis quickly capitulating to a two phase negotiation agenda, where Brussels and Westminster are to discuss the divorce bill before any further issues are put on the table.
The UK has accepted that the European Council will decide when "sufficient progress" has been made on these three baskets to allow talks on the EU/UK future relationship to begin.
"Facing challenges like this one, terrorism, is always more efficient and more effective if we face those challenges together, united in a common framework", Jan Kral, the Czech Republic's acting state secretary for European Union affairs, said after last month's terror attack in Manchester.
"In this country, we are very interested not only in future trade relations but also security relations", Rinkevics said in Riga.
"If this leads to the possibility of a softer exit by Britain and a compromise model linked to Brexit, then I would be happy with that", he said. "Not for dreams and uncertainty #Brexit". "It's not up to me to say it's closed", the French president told The Guardian.
Mrs May's trip to Brussels comes as her political rivals circle in Westminster, and European Union officials wonder if this might be her last summit as prime minister. The summit takes place two days after the official start of the Brexit talks, which are due to be completed by March 30, 2019.
On Monday, a report by Automotive Council UK found that 44% of all components used in UK vehicle assembly come from British suppliers, compared with 41% in 2015, highlighting a move by manufacturers to protect themselves from Brexit-related disruptions to their supply chain.