The Prime Minister claimed the UK will not pay the EU the Brexit divorce bill until the end of negotiations with the bloc.
European leaders agreed in unison on Saturday at a summit that the UK should pay the Brexit divorce bill upfront, before a trade deal is negotiated.
Speaking on The Andrew Marr Show, the Prime Minister rejected the claim that Britain would be forced to pay a divorce bill to the bloc upfront.
She said: “What they are very clear about is yes they do want to start some discussions about money.
“I’m very clear that at the start of the negotiations we have to be very clear not just about the Brexit arrangement, the exit, how we withdraw, but also what our future relationship is going to be.
“These negotiations are going to be tough.”
Marr quizzed the Prime Minister, asking whether she would be “prepared to agree on the money” before anything else is agreed.
Sidestepping the question, Mrs May claimed the UK would “agree on a trade deal and our withdrawal arrangements so that we know what both of those are when we leave the European Union.”
As Marr pushed for a clear answer, Mrs May rejected the notion the UK would agree the Brexit divorce bill first.
She said: “No, if you look at what is being said in the guidelines, they say that they want to start the discussions on a number of issues.
“There are things that we absolutely agree on, which should be early in those discussions. The position of EU citizens living here in the UK. And the position of UK citizens living in those 27 EU countries.
“They also agree, if you look at the guidelines that we should be discussing the development of a special partnership for the future.”
The BBC host asked the Prime Minister one final time for a definitive answer on whether the UK would pay the Brexit divorce bill upfront.
He said: “I understand all that but it is absolutely critical to this issue and to the election campaign. You are saying that you do not agree to paying a…