Published: Mon, March 27, 2017
Science | By Kerry Wheeler

Key messages from speech by EU's Brexit negotiator

Key messages from speech by EU's Brexit negotiator

Mrs May told ministers the invoking of Article 50 on March 29 would be a "historic event" which will see Britain begin a "bold new chapter as a prosperous, open and global nation", her official spokesman said. So while Article 50 will get the United Kingdom out the door - the indisputably crucial first step - experts on European Union law say an agreement on the future relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union can only be brokered under Article 218, once Britain returns to third country status.

"Our main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit".

Donald Tusk, the president of the European council, announced that he would call a summit on the last Saturday in April to allow the EU's 27 remaining members to agree on Brexit guidelines, a broad-brush outline of the political principles that will guide them through the next two years of negotiations.

Mr Tusk said his priority was making sure the "divorce" was the "least painful" for the EU.

The Frenchman has called for talks to be completed by October 2018 to give time for any agreement to be ratified before the United Kingdom leaves, expected on March 29 2019 under the two-year Article 50 process.

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The guidelines that the EU leaders will adopt will govern how Mr. Barnier approaches Brexit negotiations, along with a more detailed set of rules from the European Commission.

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The news comes days before Theresa May is scheduled to trigger Article 50, and raises the possibility of further job losses as a outcome of major firms relocating to continental Europe after Brexit.

The possibility of a transitional deal to cover unresolved issues like trade tariffs and immigration after Britain leaves in two years promises to be one of the key sticking points in the Brexit negotiations.

The EU chief negotiator said the catchphrase for the talks would be "citizens first".

But the actual Brexit talks will not start for around three or possibly more weeks after the summit, when ministers will formally give a mandate to Barnier, EU officials said.

"We believe that a role for the Court of Justice of the European Union in respect of these essentially procedural regulations is a price worth paying to maintain effective cross-border tools of justice", said Bob Neill, the Conservative chairman of the committee.

He repeated the European Union mantra that a trade deal with Britain could not mean a menu choice of Britain's current privileges and obligations and that such a deal could only come after an agreement on the terms of the divorce.

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