EU leaders meet for first time since British PM triggered UK’s exit

World Today

Leaders of 27 European Union countries have agreed on guidelines for negotiations on how the United Kingdom will leave the bloc.

CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi reports.

EU leaders meet for first time since British PM triggered UK’s exit

Leaders of 27 European Union countries have agreed on guidelines for negotiations on how the United Kingdom will leave the bloc. CGTN’s Mariam Zaidi reports.

The meeting of European Union heads of state had one goal — to sign off on the EU’s Brexit negotiating guidelines. “Unity” emerged as the buzzword at Saturday’s summit.

This was a real show of force from EU member states and its institutions to prove that it is primed, prepped and organized for Brexit. It was also an opportunity to dispel any illusions the UK might have had on its negotiating hand.

“Before negotiating our future relations with the UK, we must first achieve sufficient progress on the citizens’ rights, finances and the border issues with Ireland,” European Council President Donald Tusk said. “It is too early to speculate on when this will happen. However it’s important to highlight it’s for the EU 27 to decide if sufficient progress has been made.”


 
The multiple-page negotiating guidelines came as no surprise as draft guidelines were published at the end of March and little had changed.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the EU’s position is crystal clear.

“I have the impression sometimes, that our British friends do underestimate the technical difficulties we have to face. The single and not simple question of citizens’ rights is in fact a cortege of 25 different questions that need to be solved,” Juncker said. “The Commission and Michel Barnier have already prepared a text which could be adopted immediately if our British friends would be ready to sign it.”