Britain sets out Brexit plan to 'end European Union supremacy'

Britain plans to leave the EU's internal market but also wants trade to be as free as possible.

Businesses big and small are unsure how they will trade across the new EU-U.K. frontier and some three million European Union expatriates in Britain and a million or so British expatriates are unsure of their residence rights.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.

"The talks which are about to start will be hard, complex and sometimes even confrontational", Tusk said proposing draft guidelines for Brexit talks.

While British Prime Minister Theresa May's letter focuses a lot on security, the draft resolution states " ... whatever the outcome of negotiations on the future of European-United Kingdom relationship, they can not involve any trade-off between internal and external security including defense cooperation, on the one hand, and the future economic relationship, on the other hand", said May.

But no-one doubts the difficulties ahead, with Maltese Prime Minister adding that "it will be a tough negotiation, but it will not be a war".

The draft guidelines also recognize the possibility that talks between Britain and the European Union members might fail.

Tusk said he would meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May in London before an April 29 summit in Brussels.

Tusk said he had hurried to present the guidelines swiftly because the negotiations would be conducted under a tight timetable: "The Treaty gives us only two years", he said, indicating that there was not much appetite to extend the period.

Officials in Europe and Britain both acknowledge that the two-year deadline for negotiating Brexit is extremely tight.

But May's warning in the letter that failure to clinch a deal on trade would affect Britain's cooperation on terrorism and security still rankled with many.

This image shows French President Francois Hollande (R) talking to British Prime Minister Theresa May at an European Union summit in Malta in February 2017.

Brexit by the numbers as the process begins.

In her letter to the European Union triggering Article 50 letter on Wednesday, Theresa May called for the exit and trade negotiations to happen simultaneously.

Rejecting her demands for parallel talks, Mr Tusk said the negotiations could only begin once "sufficient progress" had been made on the arrangements for the UK's withdrawal.

French president Francois Hollande has called on British authorities to open clear and constructive Brexit negotiations that must fully respect the rules and interests of the European Union.

The EU companies in Britain would need to be safeguarded against losing the protection of the 27-member bloc's law and regulation, he said.

  • Zachary Reyes