1. ITV Report

May hopes for 'frank and open' EU talks with Merkel

Theresa May will meet with Angela Merkel on Wednesday Credit: PA

Theresa May aims for "frank and open" discussions with Angela Merkel on Wednesday about Britain's eventual departure from the European Union.

The new Prime Minister will make her first overseas trip when she travels to meet the German chancellor before heading to Paris on Thursday for talks with French president Francois Hollande.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Mrs May said she aimed to deliver a clear message to her European counterparts that Britain hopes to strengthen relations with countries once it has left the EU.

The Prime Minister's next trip will be to Paris on Thursday Credit: PA

It is expected that the Prime Minister will tell Mrs Merkel she does not intend to immediately invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and initiate Britain's departure from the EU.

Rather, she will say that the Government needs time to consult with devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland first.

I am determined that Britain will make a success of leaving the European Union and that's why I have decided to visit Berlin and Paris so soon after taking office.

These visits will be an opportunity to forge a strong working relationship that we can build upon and which I hope to develop with more leaders across the European Union in the weeks and months ahead.

I do not under-estimate the challenge of negotiating our exit from the European Union and I firmly believe that being able to talk frankly and openly about the issues we face will be an important part of a successful negotiation.

I also want to deliver a very clear message about the importance we attach to our bilateral relationship with our European partners, not just now but also when we have left the European Union.

These relationships have been vital in the past and they will be vital in the future as we continue to work together to keep our people safe and to support economic growth that benefits people across our countries.

– Theresa May
Theresa May insists she must first negotiate with the UK's devolved governments Credit: PA

Brussels has warned that no formal or informal talks on Britain's future relations with the EU will commence until Britain has formerly invoked Article 50.

On Tuesday, UK government lawyers told a court that Mrs May had made clear she did not intend to deploy the Article before the end of 2016, though Number 10 stressed that this was a decision for the Government to make.

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