European Union leaders unanimously agree the negotiating guidelines for Brexit

European Union leaders have unanimously agreed the negotiating guidelines for the Brexit talks in a summit held on Saturday in Brussels.

“The guidelines were unanimously adopted. The EU27 firm and fair political mandate for the Brexit talks is ready,” summit chair Donald Tusk said adding that it was the first time in the European Council’s history that the leaders of the member states came to a unanimous agreement in the first four minutes of the meeting.

The president of the European Council stressed that before the launch of the negotiations on the future relations between EU and Britain, an agreement must be reached in order to safeguard the rights of the European citizens as well as to settle economic issues and the issue of the borders with northern Ireland. However, he estimated that it is still too early to tell when this agreement will be reached.

On his part, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker underlined the need for unity in this consultation. He stressed that “the terms of the divorce” should be first regulated, explaining that there will be two negotiations: one on the United Kingdom’s terms of leaving the EU and one on its future relations with the EU.