'Imagine' if Britain stays in EU? Discord at EU summit

A fair deal for both sides was possible, he said.

May laid out benchmarks for the rights of 3 million European Union citizens living legally in Britain and how they should be shielded from excessive harm because of the divorce. There are roughly 3 million living there now.

Regarding the future relationship with the EU, Davis said Britain has not changed its position, reiterating that Britain will leave the single market and the customs union, which is "the only way" to allow Britain to develop free trade agreements with non-EU countries.

"We want to finalise works on the new border information sharing systems this year", Tusk said at a press conference.

Both sides acknowledged the clock was ticking, with the date for the UK's departure from the European Union fixed for March 2019.

French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel are expected to recommend another six-month rollover of tough economic sanctions imposed in 2014 against Russian Federation over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Barnier said there will be one week of negotiations every month and the two sides will use the time in between to work out proposals. "Countries can take positions, often very strong positions, they are often negotiating positions, and yet the final outcome might be more favourable", he said.

Another sticking point could be May's rejection of another European Union demand that expats be able to enforce their rights in the European Union court.

Brussels has been dismissive of May's call for sweeping and quick guarantees for expats, including over a million Britons on the continent, and says only detailed legal texts can reassure and take account of complex, multinational family situations.

British Prime Minister Theresa May has set out what she calls a "fair deal" for European Union citizens living in Britain, saying in her first test of negotiating strength she did not want anyone to have to leave because of Brexit or to split up families.

Theresa May is expected to provide her fellow European Union leaders with detail on the status and rights which the United Kingdom plans to offer EU citizens living in Britain after Brexit.

May seemed keen to calm the mood with the continentals after weeks of sniping during her election campaign, stressing that London wanted a "special and deep partnership with our friends and allies in Europe".

Meanwhile Mr Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel were insistent that the EU's focus must be on building a future for the remaining 27 states, and not on the Brexit negotiations, which were not on the agenda at the Brussels summit.

Germany and France are favourites to get one of the agencies.

That source, and another in the Conservative party, said May´s misjudged election gamble had undermined her authority, leaving her in the thrall of the two wings of her party that have differing views for Brexit - "purists" who want a clean break and "remainers" pressing for close ties.

It has led to calls from within the Conservative Party and business community for a softer Brexit where the mantra of "no deal is better than a bad deal" is laid to rest and the focus shifts to the economy and jobs with some calling for the United Kingdom to remain in both the single market and the customs union.

"I am not in a frame of mind to make concessions, or ask for concessions", he said.

Davis, taking up the historical theme, quoted British wartime leader Winston Churchill.

  • Leroy Wright