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Hollande 'wants Britain to start Brexit talks quickly'

Francois Hollande wants Brexit talks to start soon. Credit: PA

Francois Hollande will tell Theresa May that Brexit talks must start quickly when the pair meet today.

The French president is expected to say he does not want there to be any "pre-negotiations".

Mr Hollande and the prime minister will hold talks on Britain's plans to quit the EU when they meet in Paris.

The French President will host a working dinner at the Elysee Palace, a day after Mrs May met German counterpart Angela Merkel.

At discussions in Berlin, the Chancellor said Britain should "take a moment" over its plans to sever its ties with Brussels but warned against leaving the negotiations "up in the air".

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Theresa May warns UK won't rush to leave the EU

Video report by ITV News deputy political editor Chris Ship.

Theresa May warned that the UK would not be rushed into leaving the EU as she met Angela Merkel today.

The new British prime minister needs to win over the German chancellor, who holds more power than anyone else in Europe over any deal which is finally agreed.

In Berlin, some expressed concern over the apparent lack of a plan for a Brexit after the UK voted to leave.

May's handling off the issue is likely to be among the key moments of her time in office - and that work started in earnest today.

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May gives Merkel a birthday present of walking books

Ms Merkel turned 62 a few days before Ms May's visit Credit: PA

What birthday present can you get the world leader who has everything?

Theresa May settled on a pair of books reflecting a shared love of walking as she marked Angela Merkel's 62nd birthday during a visit to Berlin.

Ms May handed her counterpart - who turned 62 on Sunday - a new edition of Coast To Coast With Wainwright, a classic photographic book from 1973 on beauty spots between the Irish and North seas.

She also presented a copy of Great Mountain Days In Snowdonia, which includes a guide to walks in the National Park.

The prime minister included a handwritten message of birthday wishes with the presents, which she picked out herself.

Merkel: Brexit was a vote for EU immigration control

Theresa May said that Britons sent a "very clear" message pushing for the country to take back control of its borders when they voted for Brexit.

Her comments at a meeting with the German chancellor Angela Merkel are likely to add to tension over the terms of the UK's exit from the EU.

Ms May must square her commitment to curb immigration with the economic need for free access to the bloc's markets.

Europe has made it clear that Britain cannot have free trade without free movement - and that is likely to prove a sticking point in any talks.

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