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Migrant crisis and defence on agenda as May meets EU leaders

Britain will continue to help tackle Europe's migrant crisis after Brexit, Theresa May has told EU leaders today.

The prime minister made the announcement after using one-to-one talks with fellow leaders in Malta to insist she wants a "new, positive and constructive" relationship with the EU while remaining a "reliable partner" after Brexit.

At the summit, Mrs May also announced a £30 million fund to protect vulnerable migrants from freezing conditions and the threat of people-trafficking and sexual violence.

Defence will also be high on the agenda at the gathering in Malta's capital Valletta, and Mrs May is expected to tell her counterparts they must boost spending following her talks with Donald Trump on his attitude towards Nato.

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May's Brexit plan provides 'clarity' for European leaders

Mrs May and Spain's Mariano Rajoy, pictured together last year. Credit: AP

Theresa May has reassured leaders that Brexit will not mean paring back relations with EU countries.

The prime minister was holding talks with leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel, Spain's Mariano Rajoy, and Austria's Christian Kern at a one-day European summit in Malta.

Following their conversation, in which she updated Mr Rajoy and Mr Kern on the UK's preparations for Brexit, Mr Rajoy said her speech "clarified many things".

A Downing Street source said: "They agreed that it was important to think about the future relationship as well as the detailed exit arrangement, so that we can give greater certainty for people and businesses who want to live and work in each other's countries."

They also agreed that an early deal on the rights of EU citizens in the UK, and British citizens in the EU, was desirable.

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