World Europe 30 Apr 2017 EU adopts tough Brex ...

EU adopts tough Brexit-talks stand

AFP
Published Apr 30, 2017, 3:38 am IST
Updated Apr 30, 2017, 3:38 am IST
The 27 leaders quickly agreed on the negotiating guidelines as they met without Britain.
 Prime Minister Theresa May  (Photo: AP)
  Prime Minister Theresa May (Photo: AP)

European Union leaders unanimously adopted their Brexit strategy at a special summit in Brussels on Saturday, in a show of unity ahead of two years of tough talks with Britain.

The 27 leaders quickly agreed on the negotiating guidelines as they met without Britain for the first time since Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the divorce process a month ago. They say talks on a future trade deal with Britain can only start once London agrees divorce terms on citizens’ rights, its exit bill and Northern Ireland.

 

“Guidelines adopted unanimously. EU27 firm and fair political mandate for the Brexit talks is ready,” EU president Donald Tusk said on Twitter, shortly after the summit began.

Leaders adopted the guidelines, unchanged, within one minute, an EU source said. Tusk earlier said leaders “need to remain united as the EU 27” but said it was “also in Britain’s interest” if unity boosted the chances of a swift Brexit deal.

May this week accused the EU of ganging up on London, in a war of words with German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said Britain had “illusions” about the talks. Brexit has offered the EU a fresh chance at unity after years of bitter internal divisions over the euro and migration.    

 

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