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Amber Rudd, home secretary, said she was “not surprised” by the leaking of details of Mr Juncker’s dinner at Number 10, in a sign that the British government is refusing to be drawn into a briefing war with Brussels. “This is their opening salvo,” she said.

Ms Rudd said Britain would negotiate “more discreetly” and urged EU leaders to agree to an early agreement on the rights of EU citizens. “This is a priority for us and it should be a priority for them,” she told the BBC Today programme.

The British government yesterday accused the European Commission of seeking to “punish” the UK over Brexit after a leaked account of last week’s dinner was published in the Frankfurther Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

The report portrayed the evening as a disaster, and highlighted the gulf between what the UK wants from Brexit negotiations and what the EU considers realistic.

Library photo: Bloomberg

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