EU member states show 'unity' ahead of Brexit summit

Indo Asian News Service

Brussels, April 28 (IANS) The European Union (EU)'s 27 member states on Thursday put the seal on the guidelines of the Brexit talks, Malta's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of European Affairs told reporters in Luxembourg in the run-up to the bloc's Brexit summit this weekend.

"Today's meeting was remarkable in the sense that it was an unprecedented signal of trust, unity, and consensus of the EU-27," Xinhua news agency quoted Louis Grech, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the Council of the EU, as saying.

"All delegations agreed with the overall trust of the guidelines, and express their full support," he said at a press conference following the EU's General Affairs Council, which met for the first time in an EU-27 format without the presence of Britain.

Grech said the guidelines were "a very good start to these complex negotiations ahead of us" and "the basis for negotiating directives under Article 50 (of the EU's Lisbon Treaty)".

He outlined that the key priorities of the EU member states at this stage were issues pertaining to citizens rights, financial settlement, and border matters, stressing it was in the mutual interest of EU-27 and Britain to avoid any uncertainty.

The guidelines will be adopted and unveiled on Saturday at the EU summit convened by European Council President Donald Tusk.