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Saturday, 29 April 2017

EU approves 'divorce' guidelines for Brexit process

EU leaders have endorsed a stiff set of divorce terms for Britain at a summit in Brussels, rejoicing in a rare show of unity in adversity.


Leaders met on Saturday for the first time since British Prime Minister Theresa May formally triggered a two-year countdown to Brexit in late March as they approved eight pages of negotiating guidelines hammered out by their diplomats over the past month.

"Guidelines adopted unanimously. EU27 firm and fair political mandate for the Brexit talks is ready," summit chair Donald Tusk tweeted.

The guidelines will bind Michel Barnier, their chief negotiator, to seek a deal that secures the rights of three million EU expats living in Britain, ensure London pays tens of billions of euros Brussels thinks it will be owed, and avoids destabilising peace by creating a hard EU-UK border across the island of Ireland.

"The message is that nobody here is trying to be antagonistic towards Theresa May's government in Britain," Al Jazeera's Nadim Baba, reporting from Brussels, said.

"What is needed is unity to get a deal done within the two-year timeframe. May has been saying that people are lining up against Britain."
 [aljazeera.com]
29/4/17

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