Brexit could be a good thing for both parties, says Donald Trump

Parliament's Brexit committee says Britain's aim of forging a new deal with the European Union in two years may be unrealistic, and the government must set out the economic implications of failure.

German foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel cast doubt on the Prime Minister's view that the UK's future trading relationship with the bloc could be resolved at the same time as sorting out Britain's exit.

Tusk's guidelines call for "sufficient progress" on divorce terms before a new trade deal is struck, as well as protections of the rights of European Union citizens and the border in Northern Ireland.

"Keep calm and negotiate", France's Barnier said, in English, to reporters in Luxembourg when asked what he would say to London to reassure them on the issue.

British prime minister Theresa May has soothed diplomatic tempers by affirming that her country has no intention of fighting with Spain over the territory of Gibraltar, just days after politicians in London hinted at the prospect of outright war.

But government officials, lawmakers and analysts say privately that she believes she has some strong cards to play, while also hoping that European Union officials will favor pragmatism over punishment.

Speaking in Malta, Mr Tusk predicted withdrawal negotiations would be "difficult, complex and sometimes even confrontational".

Speaking in Jordan, with which the United Kingdom now enjoys a free trade deal, through the European Union, Mrs May also said it was a priority to "continue" such deals, for example with Korea.

The guidelines leave open the possibility of "transitional arrangements" to cover any period between the expected date of Brexit on March 29 2019 and the conclusion of an FTA, adding such arrangements must be "clearly defined, limited in time and subject to effective enforcement mechanisms".

The UK will come off worse than the European Union if it leaves without any agreement, Germany's foreign minister warned.

And the resolution calls for protecting the rights of the three million European citizens living in Britain, and the one million Britons residing in EU countries.

"I would say on Gibraltar, you see now how hard the divorce is", said Dutch foreign minister Bert Koenders, speaking before a meeting of the European Union foreign affairs council. "It's what we wanted and what we have said from the beginning", said a Spanish government spokesperson.

However, the EU Council document released last week seemed to rule that out.

  • Zachary Reyes