>> Theresa May meeting a first EU leader since edging closer to Brexit. The British Prime Minister welcoming her Italian counterpart to Downing Street. It comes a day after MPs voted overwhelmingly to back a bill set to trigger the UK's divorce proceedings. Unsurprisingly, Brexit was on the table.>> The UK remains committed to triggering Article 50 by the end of March.
Last night, we moved a step closer with the successful passage of the bill in the House of Commons. As I've said, the priority for the UK in the negotiations ahead will be to seek a new comprehensive, bold, and ambitious free trade agreement with the European Union.>> Italian PM Paolo Gentiloni added there's no point in having a destructive negotiation between the EU and the UK.
Welcome words for May, and after their working lunch, she announced a new program of regular bilateral summits, a bid to boost trade, but this press conference also exposed some sore points. The UK government announcing Thursday it will halt a child refugee scheme in its infancy, potentially a problem for Italy, which has become the bottleneck for those fleeing Libya.
And May's recent visit to Washington again came back to haunt her. The PM having to reaffirm her opposition to Donald Trump's immigration order.>> We thought that was wrong, that was divisive.>> It's not just Brexit separating May from her EU counterparts. She's still the only leader from Europe to have met and courted the new US President.