Published: Mon, April 10, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

European Union open to exit deal with Britain as Scots demand referendum

European Union open to exit deal with Britain as Scots demand referendum

Tusk will speak alongside the Maltese premier Joseph Muscat whose government holds the bloc's rotating presidency, media reports said.

The EU stance is in contrast to the British Prime Minister Theresa May's proposal that talks on the United Kingdom withdrawal and future relationship with the EU, covering areas such as trade and citizens rights, be held simultaneously.

The EU has unveiled its plans for negotiating the big Brexit, after the United Kingdom formally filed for a divorce.

"The talks which are about to start will be hard, complex and sometimes even confrontational".

EU Council President Donald Tusk circulated the guidelines to 27 European governments on Friday.

With a potential row now building up over Britain's so-called "exit bill", estimated to be as much as 60 billion euros ($64 billion, £52 billion), Gabriel also reminded Britain that it is obliged to meet its financial commitments to the EU.

Going into the two-year negotiation period triggered by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (official process to leave the EU), the European Union would think of the people first, Tusk said.

Tusk said the bloc needed to think of people first.

"Starting parallel talks will not happen", European Council President Donald Tusk said in a press conference.

Johnson, speaking in Brussels upon arrival for a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting Friday, said he has had good feedback from partners since Wednesday's British announcement, despite worries on both sides of the Channel about Brexit.

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In a foreword to the paper, Prime Minister Theresa May said the bill would "provide maximum certainty as we leave the EU", allowing businesses, public officials and individuals to plan for the future while Brexit negotiations are ongoing.

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

It had called for simultaneous talks on exit terms and future trade ties.

These include the timeframe for wrapping up the EU-U.K. talks, which remains unclear but has been an early sticking point ahead of negotiations.

The EU guidelines make clear there can be no talks on the shape of any future relationship at this stage.

The 27 European Union states will decide if sufficient progress has been achieved, probably by autumn, he added.

"The EU 27 does not and will not pursue a punitive approach".

But during that time, when May hopes to win an election in 2020 where she will want to show she has delivered Brexit, the EU will insist Britain should remain subject to the EU's "regulatory, budgetary, supervisory and enforcement instruments and structures" - effectively accepting existing EU rules and their enforcement by the European Court of Justice.

The EU draft says the future of Gibraltar will be set in talks between Spain and the United Kingdom, giving Spain a very strong negotiating position.

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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