In a letter inviting the EU 27 leaders to tomorrow’s Special European Council (Art. 50) meeting to adopt the guidelines for the Brexit negotiations, European Council President Donald Tusk has said that a phased approach to the Brexit negotiations is key to their success. He explains this to mean that future relationships between the EU and the UK will only be discussed once there has been sufficient progress on the main issues relating to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU including:

  • securing effective, enforceable, non-discriminatory and comprehensive guarantees for citizens and their families;
  • agreeing that all financial obligations undertaken by the EU to be honoured also by the UK; and
  • avoiding a hard border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Tusk has said that, given the limited time frame to conclude the talks, this is the only possible approach and not only a matter of tactics.

The full invitation letter is available here.

The European Commission’s ‘Background brief’ in relation to the Special European Council (Art. 50) is available here.