Despite Brexit, Britain Still Partner in NATO, Europe: Germany

The guidelines say that the European Union called for a "phased approach" that prioritizes an orderly withdrawal that reduces the disruption caused by Britain's departure in March 2019.

Prime Minister Theresa May declared there was "no turning back" after she gave EU President Donald Tusk formal notification of Britain's intention to withdraw following last June's shock referendum.

That position is accepted as realistic in many European Union capitals, but only if the United Kingdom agrees a figure deemed reasonable by the 27, which might well be less than the €60 billion now being touted by Mr Barnier, but still a substantial figure.

Speaking to reporters in Berlin, the German leader said negotiations on British divorce terms would take place first and that only then could the much-desired UK-EU trade talks take place.

"Perhaps its even more poisonous for economic trade and investment relations", he added, questioning if London "really understood what kind of impact there could be for the British economy when all these questions have to be addressed", and noting the "damn tight" two-year negotiation period.

British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson also insisted Friday that Britain's commitment to European defense and security is "unconditional" and "not some bargaining chip in any negotiations" over Brexit.

The draft sets the red lines for the elected European Parliament on the conduct of divorce talks with Britain before a trade deal can be discussed. "I have been clear that we will work constructively - in a spirit of honest cooperation - to bring this partnership into being".

The UK government will on Thursday outline plans to remove European Union legislation from the statute book when it publishes a white paper on its Great Repeal Bill.

"EU has done everything to keep the British".

In recent months, German officials have made clear that they do not believe there is time to negotiate a bespoke transitional agreement for Britain that would come into force immediately after Brexit.

His text, to be approved by European Union leaders (minus the UK) at a summit on 29 April, will confirm the bloc's intention to deal with citizens, budget and border issues before any trade deal.

"It's bad news for everybody".

At home, a divided Britain faces strains that could lead to its break-up. In Northern Ireland, rival parties are embroiled in a major political crisis and Sinn Fein nationalists are demanding a vote on leaving the UK and uniting with the Republic of Ireland.

"I know Theresa May well enough and I know her approach to this issue".

"Now that the decision to leave has been made and the process is under way, it is time to come together", she said.

  • Leroy Wright