EU ambassadors ‘brainstorm’ post-Brexit ties

A Coreper (Ambassador-level meeting). [@AustriaatEU Twitter]

European Union countries will on Wednesday (8 November) begin mapping out for the first time possible future relations with Britain after the nation leaves the bloc, sources said ahead of a new round of Brexit talks this week.

The meeting of ambassadors from the remaining 27 EU states fulfils a commitment made by leaders to British Prime Minister Theresa May at a summit last month to start internal work on a transition period and eventual trade deal.

May pleads for Brexit deal she can sell at home

British Prime Minister Theresa May pressed EU leaders on the first day of the EU summit yesterday (19 October) for a Brexit deal she can “defend” at home as her counterparts said at a summit in Brussels that there were encouraging signs of progress in the talks.

The EU leaders warned May however that they would not start actual discussions with Britain until at least December, given that there had been insufficient progress on divorce issues including Britain’s exit bill.

One EU source said on Tuesday the meeting would be a “brainstorming exercise” to gauge how the 27 envision the second leg of negotiations with Britain.

“We’ll see during the meeting how far member states want to go or how much they want to block discussions on transition and the future relationship,” the source told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Barnier: UK likely to end up with Canada-style EU deal

Britain must choose from a range of existing off-the-peg models for its relationship to the European Union when it leaves the bloc, Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier has told a group of newspapers.

Another European source told AFP the discussion would remain “stratospheric” and look at the big picture with the broad goal of imagining a new negotiation mandate for the EU 27.

The 27 officials meet in Brussels a day before a sixth round of formal talks in Brussels between the EU negotiating team led by Michel Barnier and the British team led by David Davis.

Brussels insists there must be “sufficient progress” in these talks on Britain’s financial settlement, the rights of European citizens living in Britain after Brexit and the Irish border issue, before moving onto trade.

The talks have so far advanced only slowly since their launch in June, with a particular sticking point being the bill, which Britain says should be around €20 billion, but which the EU puts at nearer €60 billion.

Brexit talks hit cash impasse, Barnier worried about ‘thousands of projects’

British and EU negotiators hit a dead-end over money in four days of talks, the European Union’s Michel Barnier said today (12 October) as he ruled out discussions on future trade being allowed to start by EU leaders next week.

Britain is set to leave the bloc in March 2019.


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