EU's Donald Tusk Lays Out Terms For 'Confrontational' Brexit Talks

The severance terms will include a payment towards subsidies for French farmers and guaranteed rights for European Union citizens living in the UK. London is calling for simultaneous talks.

Tax specialist Jolyon Maugham, the lawyer behind the challenge, wants the case to be sent to the ECJ in Luxembourg this summer to establish whether Britain can reverse the exit process without requiring permission from the other 27 European Union members.

If the guidelines are adopted, the talks are certain to be hard, with both sides already in disagreement on issues from the sequence of the talks to the conditions Britain would have to accept to secure a post-Brexit transitional deal.

"Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time as suggested by some in the United Kingdom will not happen", the former Polish premier said. "Only when this question is dealt with can we - hopefully, soon after - begin talking about our future relationship".

"It will also ensure we deliver on our promise to end the supremacy of European Union law in the United Kingdom as we exit".

But Timmermans said: "You can't blackmail someone with one of your own existential requirements. there is no real possibility for blackmail there because security for the United Kingdom, even if they're not in the European Union, will stay an essential requirement for themselves". He expects to launch negotiations in early June, giving him about 16 months to conclude the basics of a withdrawal treaty that can then be ratified by lawmakers on both sides in time for Brexit on March 29, 2019.

Asked about the "exact same benefits" phrase on BBC Radio 4's Today program, Davis said: "I make no apology for being ambitious about what we're trying to do". The president of the European Parliament said what Britain owes must be finalized before trade deals could be discussed.

Mr Tusk ruled out the suggestion there was an inherent threat in the warning.

Before I go into detail about the phone calls, remember that no one really knows what will happen next because this has never happened before.

Among the criticisms aimed at May, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, lablled the tactic "blackmail", and warned that security should not be used as a bargaining chip.

Tusk, however, said he was sure the comments, which caught headlines, had been misinterpreted.

Tusk will meet May in London ahead of an European Union summit on Brexit, which will not include her, on April 29.

Britain's very unity is at stake in the negotiations.

The EU's guidelines state that Spain must have a say over whether any post-Brexit deal applies to the British territory of Gibraltar, over which London and Madrid have rowed for 300 years.

But that plan could be scuppered by pro-EU MPs who have demanded a parliamentary vote on the UK's exit from the European Economic Area (EEA) following the publication of the Great Repeal Bill white paper.

"The classical approach for a politician during a negotiation is to reduce expectations...that's what people think is the "sophisticated" way", he added.

  • Salvatore Jensen