Brexit talks would be easier if European Commission officials “kept their views to themselves”, Sir Michael Fallon has said amid claims that the EU is seeking to bully British voters. Defence Secretary bemoaned “one-sided leaking” from commission officials as he defended Prime Minister Theresa May’s scathing attack on Brussels in the wake of negative press stories about the negotiations on Britain’s exit from the EU.
European leaders have endorsed a joint negotiating position on Brexit, including the controversial Spanish veto over the application of any future U.K./EU trade deal to Gibraltar. The 27 remaining members states formally agreed their talks strategy at a special European Council meeting in Brussels.
European Union countries are meeting in Brussels to discuss a joint strategy for negotiations with the UK over Brexit. Twenty-seven countries will be present, but the UK will not take part. The EU will insist that progress must be made in talks on separating the UK from the EU, before any discussions can begin about future trade relations. Official talks between London and the EU will not begin until after the UK general election on 8 June.
The King of Spain’s state visit to Britain, which will coincide with the snap June 8 general election, will go ahead, Downing Street has said. King Felipe VI will visit Britain along with Queen Letizia of Spain from June 6 to 8, as the campaign reaches its climax.
Prime Minister Theresa May announcement of a June snap election could strengthen her hand in the Brexit negotiations but the rest of the European Union was firm about its position in the two-year talks, insisting that their stance would be unchanged whatever the result.
Prime Minister Theresa May reiterated on Thursday the UK’s desire to ensure a deep and special partnership with the European Union, but as the UK exits the EU and there would be no negotiation on the sovereignty of Gibraltar without the consent of its people. Mrs. May made the statement after meeting at 10 Downing Street with the president of the European Council Donald Tusk for talks following the triggering of Article 50.
One in three people in Britain would cede at least some sovereignty over Gibraltar for a better Brexit deal according to a YouGov poll made public this week. The poll conclusions were released when Nigel Farage, Britain's leading Brexiteer expressed support for proposals to hold a referendum in Gibraltar to ask whether they want to become part of the UK.
Spain’s Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis called on Tuesday for calm in the row over Gibraltar’s inclusion in the EU guidelines, adding that he was surprised by the reactions in Britain. He was speaking amid a media frenzy after the EU said in its guidelines that Spain must agree before any future trade deal between the UK and the EU can be extended to Gibraltar.
Dear President Tusk
On 23 June last year, the people of the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. As I have said before, that decision was no rejection of the values we share as fellow Europeans. Nor was it an attempt to do harm to the European Union or any of the remaining member states.
In a press conference in Brussels, following the hand-delivered letter, EC president Donald Tusk sent a message to the UK: “We already miss you. Thank you and goodbye.”