Comments by Donald Tusk 23 February 2018

I noted the following comments by Donald Tusk following the informal meeting of the 27 heads of state or government on 23 February 2018. This meeting was being held to discuss the political priorities of the EU in the post-2020 multiannual budget.

On Brexit Negotiations:

Today I have also informed the leaders that I will present the draft guidelines on the future EU-UK relationship at the March summit. Our intention is to adopt these guidelines, whether the UK is ready with its vision of our future relations, or not. Naturally it would be much better if it were. But we cannot stand by and wait. I hope to have some more clarity about the UK’s plans next week, when I meet Prime Minister May in London.

and

I’m glad that the UK government seems to be moving towards a more detailed position. However, if the media reports are correct, I am afraid that the UK’s position today is based on pure illusion. It looks like the “cake philosophy” is still alive. From the very start there has been a key principle of the EU27 that there can be no “cherry picking” and no single market “à la carte”. This is and will continue to be a key principle without any doubt. Next week I will meet PM May in London to discuss the UK’s position and in March the EU27 will adopt new guidelines as regard the future relationship. I’m absolutely sure that we’ll be extremely realistic, as 27, in our assessment of possible new proposals.