Published: Mon, April 03, 2017
Markets | By Lucia Cruz

Europe looks ahead to 'damage control' Brexit talks

Europe looks ahead to 'damage control' Brexit talks

Prime Minister Theresa May's letter to European Union council president Donald Tusk saw her state four times that talks on exiting the European Union and establishing a new relationship should happen at the same time.

Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, whose country holds the EU's six-month rotating presidency, meanwhile called for the fate of European Union citizens in Britain not to be used in the same way.

"Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time, as suggested by some in the United Kingdom, will not be happen", he added.

French President Francois Hollande followed German Chancellor Angela Merkel in snubbing May's proposed structure for the negotiations, saying the exit agreement should come first.

He added: "Our partners are wise and decent partners and this is why I'm absolutely sure that no-one is interested in using security co-operation as a bargaining chip".

"Brexit in itself is already punitive enough", he said.

A day after triggering its European Union exit process, the British government began outlining Thursday how it intends to convert thousands of European Union rules into British law when it leaves the bloc in 2019. There is no way around it", Tusk said, "The EU27 [the remaining member states] does not and will not pursue a punitive approach.

"Whatever future the UK-EU relationship looks like, we want the UK to remain a strong leader in Europe", he said.

A spokesman for May said the guidelines showed a constructive approach.

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"We want guarantees soon", said 41-year-old Pons, who works in Norfolk in eastern England and has been living in Britain for 17 years.

Britain sought to downplay a row over future security ties with the EU Thursday, as London and Brussels drew up the first battle lines at the start of their two-year divorce.

"It is not a vehicle for policy changes - but it will give the Government the necessary power to correct or remove the laws that would otherwise not function properly once we have left the European Union".

"Only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal, can we discuss framework for the future", European Council President Donald Tusk said Friday at a press conference in Malta.

Labour MP Owen Smith said: "Two days into a two-year negotiation and the government's lofty rhetoric is colliding with hard reality".

We will survive - the message from the EU's most powerful political family in the wake of Britain's formal decision to quit the bloc.

Please see below the full text of the nine-page document, the so-called "guidelines" of the European Union 27 for Brexit talks starting soon.

Announcing the details of the white paper, Brexit minister David Davis said there would be three key elements: to repeal the European Communities Act; to convert any existing EU law into United Kingdom law; and to give parliament powers to create secondary legislation to enable corrections to any laws that would no longer be appropriate once we have left the EU.

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