June 26, 2017

The EU publishes its official plan for Brexit talks

10 April 2017, 02:15 | Clarence Schmidt

The EU publishes its official plan for Brexit talks

The EU publishes its official plan for Brexit talks

This group includes French President Francois Hollande, who promised London an "economically painful" divorce, and European Union parliament chief negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, who said lawmakers would veto the Brexit deal if it proved too generous.

It has been speculated that exit negotiations will continue for around two years.

Allow me to outline the main elements and principles of my proposal.

But if May wants to use 'blackmail, ' she might want to make sure we have a leg to stand on.

"In essence it is about damage control", Tusk reiterated.

"We have to think of people first".

The document says that guaranteeing the rights of European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and Brits living elsewhere in the 28-nation bloc will be a "matter of priority" for the European Union when negotiations officially get underway. The remaining 27 countries want the negotiations to focus first and foremost on how the leaving and only after that to agree on how they will cooperate in the future.

"But we need to settle their status and situations after the withdrawal with reciprocal, enforceable and non-discriminatory guarantees", he said.

The EU companies in Britain would need to be safeguarded against losing the protection of the 27-member bloc's law and regulation, he said.

Spanish minister Inigo Mendez de Vigo says "this is an important point in the future negotiations of the United Kingdom's exit from the European Union".

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"It is only fair towards all of those people - communities, scientists, farmers and so on - to whom we, all the 28, promised and owed this money".

It is understood the guidelines contain explicit references to the Northern Irish peace process and the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic.

Speaking after the release of the Council's draft negotiating guidelines Friday morning he adopted an uncompromising stance on the U.K.'s preference to hold discussions on the divorce and future trade in parallel.

However, the British PM, along with discussing Brexit negotiations, also wants to hold talks about the UK's future trading relationship with the European Union within the two-year period.

European Council President Donald Tusk (L) speaks at a joint press conference with Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat (R) in Valletta, Malta, on March 31, 2017.

Tusk also repeated the EU's position that future relations between the United Kingdom and the bloc will be discussed only when a divorce agreement can be reached.

"I do not expect we'll bargain with security topics because it's in our common, in our mutual interest to exchange information if it's necessary", she told BBC2's Newsnight.

Foreseeing the talks would be hard, complex and sometimes confrontational, Tusk hoped the divorce would be as smooth as possible and stressed that the only point contact for the talks would be with EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier.

There is no way around it.

The working paper said: "We compute that the EU's liabilities and commitments amount to €724 billion by end-2018". He said there would be "no punitive approach, Brexit is punitive enough".

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