Britain does not expect 50 bln stg Brexit bill-Davis

President Donald Trump has irritated European leaders by praising Britain's exit from the European Union and predicting that other countries would follow.

"Not reaching a deal on citizens' rights means not reaching a deal at all", Tajani said.

The Brexit Secretary was grilled on Theresa May's negotiating stance after Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced it is "likely" the United Kingdom will leave Europol in the wake of Brexit.

In a written statement, the European Council noted that the guidelines would set out the overall positions and principles on the basis of which the the 27, represented by the European Commission, will negotiate with the UK.

Britain launched the historic process of leaving the EU on Wednesday, saying there was "no turning back", but its European partners were quick to warn of the hard path ahead.

It's also a major blow to the European Union, after decades of expansion, to lose one of its largest members.

"We propose three years", he said.

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted a photo of British Ambassador to the EU Tim Barrow handing over May's letter, officially notifying the EU of Britain's decision to withdraw from the bloc after more than 40 years.

"We will do everything to minimize a negative impact", said Guy Verhofstadt, the Parliament's point man for Brexit negotiations.

Barnier has said tackling those uncertainties will be his top priority, along with ensuring Britain pays what Brussels argues it owes as a share of commitments made by the European Union but not yet funded - maybe of the order of 60 billion euros.

Following the triggering of the Article 50 withdrawal process by Theresa May on Wednesday, Mr Tusk is to circulate his draft guidelines for the forthcoming negotiations to the other European Union leaders.

THERESA MAY: This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back. Brussels envoys of the 27 meet in Brussels at 0730 GMT to study the draft, and Tusk will outline his views in Malta around 0745 GMT.

Once it has been accepted, Article 50 has been officially launched, starting a two-year countdown to the United Kingdom leaving the EU. "You can change your mind while the process is going on".

During his remarks, Tusk told reporters Brexit had made the remaining member states more united, and that they would remain so in the negotiations ahead.

NO ONE knows what happens next because no one has ever triggered the obscure Article 50 clause in the Lisbon Treaty, which gives member states a way out of the EU.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier arrives at the EU summit in Brussels on March 9.

Both parties say they would like to achieve a mutually beneficial deal, but their conflicting interests on many issues will not make that easy.

The U.K. will have to develop a new strategy for self-governance, pay any outstanding fees to the EU and decide what happens to EU nationals living in the U.K. It will also have to work out new trade deals and develop relationships with the EU member states and the rest of the world.

  • Leroy Wright