EU summit leaders unanimously agree negotiating stance

The latest on Brexit

Saturday the European Council president, Donald Tusk said that member states have agreed the guidelines for a “firm and fair political mandate” so that they can have discussions with the UK over the EU exit.

Summit leaders in Brussels took less than 15 minutes to agree the draft guidelines that were issued 31 March.

Tusk said on Twitter:

However, the UK must settle the divorce bill before they can begin negotiations for trade talks. The EU has estimated the bill at £51bn due to the EU exit rules although, British politicians has said clearly the government will not pay that amount.

Jean-Claude Juncker the European Commission president said the strategy agreement between the 27 EU members was a “unity action.”

Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble said: “There is no free lunch. Britons must know that.”

“We don’t want to weaken Britain. But we also don’t want that the rest of Europe is weakened.”

“Britain should not have advantages after the exit, that other countries don’t have.”

Francois Hollande the French president said there will a “a price and a cost for the UK - it’s the choice that was made”.

“We must not be punitive, but at the same time it’s clear that Europe knows how to defend its interests, and that Britain the UK will have a less good position tomorrow outside the EU than today in the EU.”

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