On first day of Brexit negotiations chief EU negotiator makes clear Britain cannot dictate timing of negotiations

British negotiators have capitulated to key European demands for a phased approach to Brexit talks, agreeing to park discussions on free trade until they have thrashed out the cost of the multibillion-euro UK divorce settlement.

Putting a brave face on a concession that may further strengthen the tactical dominance of the EU, the Brexit secretary, David Davis, insisted his initial retreat remained consistent with long-term government strategy.

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