The Latest: EU official warns Trump over Brexit support

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Posted: Mar 30, 2017 7:52 AM
The Latest: EU official warns Trump over Brexit support

LONDON (AP) — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

The head of the European Union's executive says that President Donald Trump should stop applauding Brexit or backing the principle of EU defections — or else he will hit back.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said at Thursday's congress of his EPP Christian Democrat group that "if he goes on like that, I am going to promote the independence of Ohio and Austin, Texas."

Juncker has been irked that Trump "was happy that Brexit was taking place and has asked other countries to do the same" and advised that every leader should focus on his or her own job ahead.

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12:45 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says that Britain's future trading relationship with the European Union will inevitably be less advantageous than the arrangement it has as a member.

Britain plans to leave the EU's internal market but also wants trade to be as free as possible. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told the German parliament on Thursday: "It is clear that a partnership outside the European Union, as the United Kingdom is striving for, must necessarily be less than membership."

Gabriel added: "A free trade agreement, however far-reaching and innovative it is, is inevitably less trade-friendly than the barrier-free internal market. He stressed that "the internal market is not an a la carte menu."

The minister also said that there will be no "British rebate" when it comes to defending the European Union's interests in the upcoming divorce negotiations with London.

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11 a.m.

French president Francois Hollande has called on British authorities to open clear and constructive Brexit negotiations that must fully respect the rules and interests of the European Union.

In a written statement following a phone call with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, Hollande said discussions would first need to focus on "citizens' rights" and "obligations arising from the U.K.'s commitments."

He added that discussions on the framework of future relations between the UK and the EU could open "on the basis of the progress made."

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9:30 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May writes in an article for a German daily that while her country "will leave the EU, we will not leave Europe."

One day after triggering Britain's exit from the European Union, May writes in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung the decision to leave the bloc "is not a rejection of the values we share as Europeans ... nor an attempt to harm the European Union or its remaining member countries."

In the article published Thursday, May writes: "We know that we will lose influence regarding the regulations of the European economy. ... We accept that."

But, the prime minister continues, "there shouldn't be a reason why we cannot create a new, deep and special partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU that works for all of us."

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9:15 a.m.

Britain's chief negotiator in the country's divorce from the European Union is rejecting the suggestion that the government has threatened to end security cooperation unless it gets the trade deal it wants.

David Davis told the BBC that Prime Minister Theresa May's letter triggering talks on Britain's departure made clear it wants to continue to work with the EU on a range of issues, including security, for both sides.

Davis says: "We want a deal, and she was making the point that it's bad for both of us if we don't have a deal. Now that, I think, is a perfectly reasonable point to make and not in any sense a threat."

While the reference to security caused concern in Brussels, Davis says senior European leaders responded positively to May's letter.