The 27 EU Member States adopt in Brussels on Saturday 30th April, their policy on negotiations on Brexit, the output of the United Kingdom from the European Union. They present a united front before the start of negotiations.
The 27 EU leaders adopted on Saturday “unanimously” the guiding principles that will guide the European negotiators during talks Brexit, showing their unity claimed against the UK.
“Guidelines adopted unanimously. The firm and fair mandate of the EU of 27 for discussions on Brexit is ready” , announced on Twitter, the European Council President Donald Tusk , shortly after the opening in Brussels of the first extraordinary summit of the 27 member states on Brexit.
Upon his arrival, Mr Tusk stressed the need for the 27 member statest to “remain united” throughout the discussion of the withdrawal agreement of the UK, which should last two years. “Only then will we be able to conclude the negotiations, which means that our unity is also in the interest” of London, he said. The unit 27, wanted to reassure the chief negotiator of the EU, the French Michel Barnier “is not directed against the United Kingdom” .
“Europe will defend its interests”, assured by his side French President François Hollande, who participates in his last European summit.
Theresa May is concerned about a European front against her country
Exactly one month after the official notification, ten months after the British referendum, the first preparations are taking place “without a hitch” on the European side, according to a diplomat.
In London, the Prime Minister Theresa May has her worries to see the rest of the EU “unite against” her country. “There will inevitably be a price and a cost to the UK,” said Mr. Hollande, in line with the warning two days ago by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the “illusions” of some officials British politicians.
In Brussels on Saturday, the leaders will “try to have a more complete vision of where the red lines are located, and the best way forward”, explained a European source.
Protect European citizens foremost
The “guidelines” must endorse the approach “progressive” preferred by the European camp before considering talking about the nature of the “future relationship” , it will make progress “sufficient” on the three key points set by EU.
The European Commission has already established a list of rights “to protect” for citizens and their families who will be affected by the Brexit, explained Donald Tusk.
Three million EU citizens living or working in the UK are concerned about their right of residence, retirement or social security. These citizens are the “No. 1 priority” of 27, according to M. Tusk.
The two sides will also find a common ground on account balances, about probably the most politically sensitive. The invoice looks high for London, estimated at around 60 billion euros from the European side.
The third point concerns Ireland . Nobody wants restored a physical border between the Republic and the British province of Northern Ireland, nor undermine the hard-won peace agreement after 30 years of “troubles” .
What future relationship?
The 27 judge for themselves the progress of progress on these three issues before moving to the next stage, perhaps before the end of the year “if things go well” , according to a senior European official .
For the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, visibly impatient to begin the discussion on the “future relationship” , this first phase will not “not last too long” .
“We all want a future strong relationship with the United Kingdom” , supported the Chairman of the Board Donald Tusk. The 27 should also begin to address the issue of the two European agencies currently based in London, the European Banking Authority ( EBA) and the European medicines Agency (EMA), which will be transferred to stay on EU territory.
Starting next week, the Commission should publish its proposed “guidelines” of negotiations, more detailed, which will be based on these guidelines. Their adoption is expected by the 27th May.
In order of battle, the Europeans hope to begin negotiations after the British general election of the 8th June, convened by Theresa May in order to obtain political support.