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France, Italy and Germany each vie for post-Brexit deals with UK

Talks on defence are first signs UK is willing to forge positive bilateral relations with its European partners

France, Italy and Germany, the three leading European powers, are each trying to reach bilateral post-Brexit agreements with the UK, after the UK said it was not currently interested in closer security and foreign policy cooperation with the EU.

The behind-the-scenes discussion at ambassadorial and ministerial levels runs in contrast to some of the negative rhetoric from Downing Street about its approach to its EU partners. The discussions have focused on defence cooperation but go far wider, and would be the first signs that the UK was capable of forging positive bilateral relations with its European partners.

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