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Montevideo, November 19th 2018 - 03:03 UTC

UK's approach to next stage of negotiations bases on “pure illusion”, says Tusk

Saturday, February 24th 2018 - 07:54 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Mr Tusk, who is due to meet the PM, said media reports suggested the “cake philosophy is still alive” in the UK. Mr Tusk, who is due to meet the PM, said media reports suggested the “cake philosophy is still alive” in the UK.

UK's approach to the next stage of Brexit negotiations seems to be based on “pure illusion”, Donald Tusk says. The European Council president told a news conference in Brussels that the UK was still trying to “cherry pick” its future relationship with the EU.

 Mr Tusk said he could only go on media reports of Brexit talks at the PM's country retreat Chequers on Thursday. Theresa May is set to deliver a key speech setting out British ambitions.

Mr Tusk, who is due to meet the PM, said media reports suggested the “cake philosophy is still alive” in the UK. He added: “If the media reports are correct I am afraid that the UK position today is based on pure illusion.”

He went on to reject - as he has done before - any notion of the UK “cherry picking” aspects of its future relationship with the EU or being able to join a “single market a la carte”.

Mr Tusk said the EU would continue to be “extremely realistic” during the forthcoming negotiations.

The second phase of Brexit negotiations will cover transitional arrangements after the UK leaves and economic and security co-operation in the future.

Mr Tusk, who spoke at an informal meeting of 27 European heads of states and governments, said he would present draft guidelines on the future EU-UK relationship at a summit in March.

“Our intention is to adopt these guidelines, whether the UK is ready with its vision of our future relations, or not,” he said.

“Naturally it would be much better if it were. But we cannot stand by and wait.”

He said he hoped to have more clarity when he meets the PM in London next week.

The leaders also spoke about the EU's post-2020 budget, the composition of the European Parliament, Turkey and Syria.

The government is set to pursue a policy which puts the UK outside a customs union with the EU - but matching EU rules in some industries in an attempt to achieve “frictionless trade”.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, who did not attend the meeting of senior ministers, said despite “divergent views” there was a “central common understanding”.

He said some sectors could align regulations with European regulations, adding: “But it will be on a voluntary basis, we will as a sovereign power have the right to choose to diverge.”

Categories: Economy, Politics, International.

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  • The Voice

    The EU are piqued. They should grow up. Tusk's signals alternate between friendship and cooperation and hostility and obfuscation. Needs to make his mind up… We want free trade and friendship without our country being run by Berlin and its poodles. Simple.

    Feb 24th, 2018 - 09:08 am +2
  • DemonTree

    This is stupid. “If the media reports are correct I am afraid that the UK position today is based on pure illusion.” Why comment based on what the press say? Wait until you've heard it from the horse's mouth.

    They're not going for “single market a la carte”, they want a trade deal, which involves both sides negotiating over what is included, not one side decreeing all the terms in advance and refusing to budge. Let's hope the EU work that out before it's too late for all of us.

    Feb 24th, 2018 - 09:23 am +2
  • Terence Hill

    “We cannot stand by and wait.” Unless he can show something from any of the EU treaties the Eu doesn’t get to dictate terms. In fact there is no obligation for the UK to negotiate at all, after the two year period she leaves, it’s a done deal.

    Feb 24th, 2018 - 06:41 pm +2
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