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EU not working on "no deal" scenario for Brexit
October 10, 2017 / 2:16 PM / 12 days ago

EU not working on "no deal" scenario for Brexit

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union is negotiating the terms of Britain’s exit from the bloc in good faith and is not working on a scenario where there is no agreement on the separation, the chairman of EU leaders Donald Tusk said on Tuesday.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk listens at a news conference during the European Union Tallinn Digital Summit in Tallinn, Estonia, September 29, 2017. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

Britain is keen to start negotiating as quickly as possible the terms of its future relationship with the EU, including a transition period, after it leaves the bloc in March 2019.

But the EU does not want to start such negotiating until London and Brussels agree the terms of the divorce - citizen’s rights, border issues in Northern Ireland and, crucially, how much money Britain owes the EU.

“We hear from London that the UK government is preparing for a ”no deal“ scenario. I would like to say very clearly that the EU is not working on such a scenario,” European Council President Tusk said in a speech in Brussels.

“We are negotiating in good faith, and we still hope that the so-called ‘sufficient progress’ will be possible by December. However, if it turns out that the talks continue at a slow pace, and that sufficient progress hasn’t been reached, then – together with our UK friends – we will have to think about where we are heading,” he said.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Alastair Macdonald

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