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German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks during a joint news conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven after their meeting at the government headquarters Rosenbad in Stockholm in Stockholm, Sweden January 31 ,2017 .TT News Agency/Henrik Montgomery via Reuters

(reuters_tickers)

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - The European Union must remain focused on its own issues such as migration, the labour market, digitalisation, security and increased defence cooperation, even as Britain leaves the bloc, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.

Merkel said she agreed with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven that the remaining 27 EU members needed to work closely together on such key issues, despite the "deep incision" that Britain's vote to leave the EU had caused.

"It's important that we do not forget our priorities at the time of British exit negotiations," Merkel told reporters during a joint news conference with Lofven. She said the remaining 27 members had done "very well" up to now in maintaining unity.

(Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Andrea Shalal; Editing by Michelle Martin)

Reuters