EU 27 support internal preparations for next phase of Brexit talks

2 Min Read
European Union

The 27 countries that would remain in the European Union after Britain’s exit should start “internal preparatory discussions” for the next phase of Brexit talks.

The internal preparations 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 would 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 in September that aimed to re-energise 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 could 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. They would also “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. (dpa/NAN)

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