World Bulletin / News Desk
Speaking to reporters following his meeting with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Tusk nevertheless said the “change of the U.K.’s tone on Brexit is good news,” referring to May’s Florence speech last week.
Tusk said this change showed “that the philosophy of having a cake and eating it is finally coming at an end, at least I hope so.
“But of course no one will ever tell me that Brexit is a good thing, because… Brexit is only about damage control.”
“We will discuss our future relations with the U.K. whilst there is so-called sufficient progress,” he added. “If you ask me today, [if] member states ask me, I would say there is no sufficient progress yet, but it will work.”
May had requested a two-year transition period after Brexit is finalized in 2019 in her Florence speech where which she attempted to clear uncertainty around various key issues such as the so-called divorce bill and citizens’ rights after Brexit.
Tusk’s London visit coincided with a fourth round of Brexit negotiations being held in Brussels between British and EU delegations lead by chief negotiators David Davis and Michel Barnier, respectively.
British Brexit Secretary Davis warned Brussels that there could be "no excuses" for standing in the way of progress.
Speaking at a news conference with Barnier, Davis said that the U.K. would pay a Brexit divorce bill in exchange for a "new deep and special partnership" with the bloc.
Britain is set to leave the EU in March 2019 after voting to end its membership in a June 2016 referendum.