EU Toughens Brexit Stance in Sign U.K. Vote Won't Alter Approach

BRITAIN-ECONOMY-GROWTH-INDICATOR-BREXIT-POLITICS

Brexit negotiations will start as planned in June, after Britons vote in a snap general election, the European Union said on Wednesday.

MEPs will have a vote on any deal struck by Mrs May at the end of the two-year process of negotiations under Article 50, giving the Parliament an effective veto. The latest draft of the guidelines is said to insist: "Citizens should be able to exercise their rights through smooth and simple administrative procedures". "We will begin talks right after the elections". The guidelines make clear that a "single financial settlement" is to include not just EU liabilities, but also issues related to the European Investment Bank, development spending and Britain's contribution to the capital of the European Central Bank.

Britain may be leaving the European Union but it will still have to settle the divorce bill in euros, not pounds, according to an European Union document on the upcoming negotiations today.

But in language that echoes a tough line taken by the 27 other EU leaders who will endorse a common position at a summit on April 29, the paper spells out Brussels' aim to protect the rights of 3 million EU citizens living in Britain, extract cash from London to cover a wide range of existing commitments and ensure EU judges can hold Britain to the treaty after Brexit.

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Most notably, member states have challenged Britain's requirement that European Union migrants complete an 85-page form to prove that they are permanently resident in the UK. Any agreement will have to "address potential issues arising from the withdrawal in other areas of cooperation, including security", the document said. The revised text, according to the FT, notes the EU's willingness to discuss "an agreement on trade". "Not at all", Berenberg Bank Chief Economist Holger Schmieding told Bloomberg. The remaining European Union 27 hold a summit on Brexit on April 29th.

But it is the provisions on the "divorce bill" which are likely to come under the spotlight when the Prime Minister holds talks in London next week with European Commission Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier and president Jean-Claude Juncker.

Peter Szijjarto, speaking after meeting British Brexit Secretary David Davis, said Thursday that "a fair Brexit deal ... simply can not exclude a free-trade agreement".

Asked where the reciprocity lay in trying to charge a massive "exit fee", put at around £50bn, for leaving the EU, Mr Tajani said: "No we have to be clear on this, the United Kingdom will pay only the money, nothing more nothing less".

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