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EU 27 support internal preparations for next phase of Brexit talks

Europe
17.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Luxembourg (dpa) - The 27 countries that will remain in the European Union after Britain‘s exit should start "internal preparatory discussions" over the EU‘s future relationship with Britain, European affairs ministers from the 27 member states in question agreed on Tuesday.

During a meeting in Luxembourg, the ministers showed "broad support" for a text containing the idea that will be formally approved by EU leaders during a summit on Friday, said Matti Maasikas, Estonian deputy minister for EU affairs, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.

"This does not mean yet [that there is] a mandate to open the talks on the future relationship," Maasikas said.

He noted that talks on the terms of Brexit have been conducted in a "more constructive spirit" since a speech by British Prime Minister Theresa May in Florence last month that aimed to re-energize the stalled process.

However Maasikas added that there has still not been sufficient progress on key issues, a core demand of the EU before the two sides can move on to discussions - including trade discussions - on Britain‘s future relationship with the bloc.

EU 27 leaders are expected to pass conclusions at their upcoming summit saying that they would "reassess the state of progress in the negotiations" in December to see if sufficient progress has been made, which would allow the talks to move on the next phase, according to a draft text seen by dpa.

In the meantime the 27 countries, along with the EU‘s Brexit negotiating team led by Michel Barnier, are invited to "start internal preparatory discussions" on the talks over a future relationship.

 

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