Protecting peace process is 'paramount' in Brexit talks

Protecting peace process is 'paramount' in Brexit talks

Protecting peace process is 'paramount' in Brexit talks

Talks between the European Union and Britain to negotiate the country's exit will be hard and sometimes confrontational, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Friday, adding that there would be no parallel talks on issues outside of that.

Former Polish premier Tusk said it was his "first divorce and I hope the last one", adding that while he hoped it would not be confrontational the European Union would stick to its principles during the talks.

Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat echoed Tusk, saying that Brexit talks will be "very tough" and "unprecedented" for the European Union - but added that it "will not be a war" with Britain.

"Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time, as suggested by some in the United Kingdom, will not be happen".

Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis, left, and Foreign Secretary Boris Jonhson listen to Prime Minister Theresa May as she speaks in the House of Commons in London in this image taken from video Wednesday March 29, 2017.

"The negotiations must first clarify how we will disentangle our interlinked relationship", the chancellor said in Berlin - a stance backed by French President Francois Hollande.

He also insisted that Britain's commitment to European defense and security is "unconditional" and "not some bargaining chip in any negotiations" over Brexit.

Mr Tusk also said there would be "no punitive approach, Brexit is punitive enough".

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister set out her priorities for Brexit talks in a letter which triggered Article 50. The EU citizens living in the United Kingdom, among them Hungarians, contribute greatly to the country's achievements, Lindsay said.

One particularly tricky aspect for May will be demand to spell out the UK's relationship with the European Court of Justice early in the talks, and how EU law applied to the exit deal, during any interim arrangement, and in the longer term.

Tusk is presenting the EU's draft negotiating guidelines to leaders of the remaining 27 member states Friday.

The guidelines put no timeframe on how long a potential transition between Brexit and a new relationship should last, though many European Union officials believe it could be between two and five years.

"Our position is we are ready to start negotiating", the spokesman said.

"The stale-sounding sentence used in private life after a divorce, 'Let's remain friends, ' is right in this case", he said.

He said: "What she said was that if we don't have a deal, it's not good for either side".

"Only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal can we discuss the framework for our future relationship".

"We are thinking of moving to Australia", a 45-year-old Spanish nurse from Barcelona, who is married to a Spanish doctor, told AFP.

'We already miss you, ' Tusk said.

Going into the two-year negotiation period triggered by Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty (official process to leave the EU), the European Union would think of the people first, Tusk said.

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