EU's Tusk, Britain's May meeting for Brexit talks in London

LONDON (AP) — European Council President Donald Tusk is meeting Britain's leader for talks about the U.K.'s EU exit, a day after the European Parliament laid out tough guidelines for the divorce negotiations.

In a statement following the meeting, a No 10 spokesman said the Prime Minister had been clear she was determined to achieve the "best possible deal" for Gibraltar as well as the UK.

Leaving the talks, Mr Tusk had simply said "no", when asked a series of questions including whether Gibraltar had been discussed and what the tone of the talks had been.

"What is crucial for the British public, what was part of the vote that they took previous year, was that they want to ensure that we have control of our borders and control of our immigration and that's exactly what we will do when we come out of the European Union".

The Prime Minister said there would be an "implementation" phase once a deal had been hammered out, with businesses and governments needing a "period of time" to adjust to the new rules.

He said Mrs May's letter a week ago to trigger the two-year exit process was clearly a call for two parallel negotiations: one on how Britain quits the bloc and another on its future trade relationship with the EU.

Mrs May today said there would be "no negotiation" on the territory without the consent of its people, who nearly universally want to stay British.

Citing the same conversation with reporters, the Financial Times said Mrs May had suggested that Britain would not be able to complete a new trade deal with the European Union until after Brexit happens in 2019, saying that there was a "legal situation in terms of how the European Union can conduct trade negotiations". We've said very clearly we want to maintain a deep and special partnership with the European Union and I think that has been reciprocated.

The two politicians smiled on the doorstep of May's 10 Downing St. office before a meeting in London that lasted two hours.

"That's the sensible thing, it's the pragmatic way to look at this, and I believe that's what we will do".

The summit is billed as "discussing the way ahead on Brexit" after the PM formally triggered two years of withdrawal talks when she invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty last week.

Over the weekend, former Conservative Party leader, Michael Howard urged Mrs May to take inspiration from the Falklands War and respond militarily should Brexit threaten Britain's hold over the territory off the south of Spain. "We're free to go", Farage said to hoots from other legislators.

  • Arturo Norris