Tuesday, 21 March 2017

EU leaders to hold first Brexit summit on 29 April, says Donald Tusk

EU leaders will meet to discuss their Brexit battle plans on 29 April, European Council President Donald Tusk has announced.
Setting the date for the remaining 27 members of the bloc to discuss their negotiating strategy, Mr Tusk said the process of "divorcing" the UK must be the "least painful for the EU".

His announcement comes after Theresa May confirmed she would trigger Article 50, officially notifying the EU of the UK's intention to leave, on 29 March.

The date Mr Tusk has set is the soonest the 27 could hold a summit to discuss their response.

Making the announcement, he said: "As you all know, I personally wish the UK hadn't chosen to leave the EU, but the majority of British voters decided otherwise.

"Therefore, we must do everything we can to make the process of divorce the least painful for the EU.

"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, as well as our important partners and friends around the world."

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions last week, Mrs May said she did not want Brexit to be referred to as a "divorce" because divorces were often followed by poor relationships.

Mrs May told the Cabinet on Tuesday morning that her letter to the EU giving notification of the UK's intention to leave would be "one of the most important documents in our country's recent history".

A Downing Street spokesman said Mrs May had told her ministers the letter would "set the tone for our new relationship with Europe and the world".

It suggests the letter could give significant detail of the UK's intentions for negotiations rather than simply informing them of the UK's exit.

SKY     News.