EU ‘green-lights’ Brexit trade talk preparations

Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty. Photo illustration taken in Brussels, Belgium, June 24, 2016. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/Illustration/Files

Sky News — The EU has given the “green light” to preparations for the second phase of Brexit talks, dealing with trade.

European Council President Donald Tusk announced on Twitter from a summit in Brussels: “Brexit conclusions adopted. Leaders green-light internal EU27 preparations for 2nd phase.”

It came minutes before Theresa May said she was “ambitious and positive” about negotiations – but added that there is still “some way to go”.

The Prime Minister said there were only “small issues” on citizens’ rights left to resolve and insisted the key “sufficient progress” demand made by the EU to trigger phase-two talks was “within touching distance”.

She added the EU did “not need to be concerned” about its budget plan, which the UK signed up to until 2020.

We will be going line by line through those commitments,” she said.

Brexit secretary David Davis said work on the transition and future relationship was in the EU members states’ interest.

He said: “The reason they’re doing this is their own interest. There’s 300 billion of trade with us and that’s what they want to preserve, as well, of course, as the interests of their citizens and the interests of the union.

“What we have said very plainly is that we will meet our commitments, the commitments we entered into in good faith, and nobody will lose either by paying more or receiving less in this budget round. That’s how it will resolve itself.”