The draft sets out a staged approach to talks, with the first part dealing with disentangling existing relations between London and Brussels. This will be the moment that both sides will settle how much the UK’s “obligations” are, in terms of a divorce bill.

The move flies in the face of Ms May’s call for talks on withdrawal and future trade terms to start at the same time, but does leave open the possibility of them eventually taking place in tandem as long as divorce talks advance.

The second part of the EU’s process will begin to set a framework for negotiations on a potential trade deal, while the third part will deal with the transition from the old to the new relationship.

Source: EU’s Brexit negotiating stance revealed by European Council President Donald Tusk | The Independent