The UK has been told it will not have to agree the exact sum of its financial exit settlement in the early stages after Article 50 has been triggered, BBC Newsnight has learned.
A message has been passed through informal channels from EU chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier to top figures in David Davis’s department.
The UK would first have to agree the broad principles of the payment.
The principles for EU citizens in the UK would then have to be agreed.
Once these two principles have been agreed – on the financial settlement payment and EU citizens – Mr Barnier is prepared to open up the negotiations to cover all areas and the nature of the UK’s future relations with the EU.
This would meet the UK demand for the negotiations on the UK’s future trade deal with the EU to be discussed in parallel with the Article 50 talks.