World Bulletin / News Desk
EU leaders will hold a special summit on April 29 to adopt Brexit talks guidelines aimed at making the split the "least painful" for the bloc, President Donald Tusk said Tuesday.
Tusk said the priority was to create "certainty and clarity" for European Union citizens and businesses amid huge doubts about what an eventual Brexit agreement will look like.
The EU's Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier is however not expected to actually start talks with London until mid to late May, shortening Britain's time to get a good deal before it leaves the EU in March 2019.
"In view of what was announced in London yesterday, I would like to inform you that I will call a European Council on Saturday the 29th of April to adopt the guidelines for the Brexit talks," Tusk said in Brussels.
"I personally wish the UK hadn't chosen to leave the EU but the majority of British voters decided otherwise. Therefore we must do everything we can to make the process of divorce the least painful for the EU," he said, standing alongside visiting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
"Our main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit, as well as our important partners and friends around the world, like Japan."
The European Council president has said he will issue draft guidelines for the 27 leaders within 48 hours of May triggering Article 50 -- the divorce clause in the EU's treaties -- next week.
Abe, in Brussels to push an EU-Japan trade deal, urged the EU and Britain to ensure a smooth "transition period".Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Mart 2017, 17:37