Cards on the table time for Brexit says Donald Tusk

30 Juin, 2018, 21:27 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • David Davis

May left Brussels early on Friday morning, after conducting talks long into the night with European Union leaders.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker admitted he was anxious about the lack of progress made in Brexit talks so far.

Malta's prime minister Joseph Muscat suggested the quick decision on Brexit showed the "EU can still work together", following the divisions over migration that dogged Thursday night's marathon discussions at a European Council summit in Brussels.

"There's a great deal of work ahead and the most hard tasks are still unresolved", he said.

The timing means she won't be able to watch England's World Cup match against Belgium, although she was presented with a Belgian shirt by the country's prime minister Charles Michel.

On his arrival at the European Council summit to brief EU leaders on Friday morning, the bloc's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned "time is very short" to conclude a Brexit deal and that a "huge and serious" gap remains between the EU and United Kingdom, in particular on the Irish border issue.

Arriving at the summit he said: "We have made progress but huge and serious divergence remains, in particular on Ireland and Northern Ireland".

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator told Mrs May that "time is short" and that she must put forward "workable and realistic" proposals when the Government publishes its white paper on Brexit next month.

May met leaders of the bloc at a summit focusing on the migration crisis, with an agreement finally reached on that in the early hours of this morning.

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Leaving the summit in Brussels, she said: "We are going to be publishing our White Paper shortly and I want to see the negotiations accelerating and intensifying thereafter".

"We actually need to see the white paper from the British government as to what they believe the relationship should be like", he said before the Brussels meeting.

"The European Council expresses its concern that no substantial progress has yet been achieved on agreeing a backstop solution for Ireland/Northern Ireland", it said.

"We're 27 member states, the United Kingdom is one country", he said.

In its statement, the European Union called for "intensified efforts" to get a deal, and said member states, European Union institutions and businesses should "step up their work on preparedness at all levels and for all outcomes". "We want a deal and are working for a deal, but time is short", he said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel revealed that the Prime Minister will come to Berlin to sell whatever deal she reaches with her ministers after the Chequers showdown.

Meanwhile Italy's Giuseppe Conte used the summit to demand a fundamental change in the bloc's migration policy, saying that his country received little help even though it was at the forefront of receiving migrants from across the Mediterranean.

Within EU territory, those who are saved could be taken to "controlled centres" set up in member states for processing.

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