Responding to the European Council's draft negotiating guidelines, published today, Conservative MEPs' leader Ashley Fox said:

"Donald Tusk's draft guidelines leave scope for negotiation and I am pleased to hear him echo the UK's desire to strike 'an ambitious and advanced' free trade agreement.  

"Significant differences remain and much tough talking lies ahead, but we share a common goal and I believe a mutually beneficial deal is achievable.

"Equally, I welcome the mention of continued co-operation in areas such as security and research contained in the European Parliament's Brexit Steering Group resolution. However, Parliament should not be attempting to dictate the course of talks."