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EU sets out guidelines for Brexit negotiations

EU sets out guidelines for Brexit negotiations

Tusk had 48 hours to respond to the notification of withdrawal.

The EU said that no trade deal can be agreed on before Brexit takes effect. The EU put emphasis on providing clarity to European citizens, businesses, stakeholders and global partners early in the negotiations.

"Only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal can we discuss the framework for our future relationship".

The paper, which sets the scene for two years of tough Brexit talks, has now been sent to European capitals before a full negotiating mandate is cemented at a summit on April 29.

Speaking in parliament later on Wednesday, May told lawmakers it was "the moment for the country to come together".

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said Theresa May had been "taken to Tusk", as the guidelines showed "the strength of the EU in these negotiations and the carelessness of the UK Government in isolating themselves from our European allies".

The EU's draft guidelines for Brexit are uncompromising and firm.

The challenges prior to moving onto the next step of talks are sizable, however.

The fate of three million European Union citizens living in Britain and one million British people within the bloc's 27 other nations is at the top of leaders' agenda. Since the issue of foreigners taking jobs from British workers fueled the Brexit referendum, a solution pleasing both Brussels and London will not be easy.

"If [the UK] wants to achieve a constructive agreement, they should discuss only with the 27 as the European Union", he said.

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France and Germany have led opposition to the parallel talks that Ms May had demanded.

"There is no such thing as a penalty for leaving the EU", he told journalists in Valletta, Malta, referring to the €60 billion or more in liabilities, which the Union will ask the United Kingdom to pay before leaving.

The Prime Minister has warned that if the United Kingdom is forced to leave the European Union without an agreement future co-operation on tackling terrorism and crime would be "weakened", prompting accusations of "blackmail".

'We already miss you, ' Tusk said. He will then give a press conference later in the day from the country.

Tusk dismissed suggestions May had attempted to use security co-operation as a "bargaining chip" by linking it to trade in her March 29 letter notifying Brussels of the UK's intention to quit.

Government sources familiar with discussions with Mr Tusk's office say they expect the guidelines will be "quite short and terse", and will concentrate on broad principles and objectives rather than detailed outcomes.

Boris Johnson said: "I want to stress one thing, the UK's commitment to the defence and security of this region, of Europe, is unconditional and it is not some bargaining chip".

On Thursday, Mr Tusk issued a thinly veiled warning to the United Kingdom not to try and play divide-and-rule with the other 27 member states as talks begin.

"We really are moving forward now".

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