EU Leaders Urge Unity at Brexit Summit in Brussels

EU Leaders Urge Unity at Brexit Summit in BrusselsEU Leaders Urge Unity at Brexit Summit in Brussels

European Union leaders called for a united front at their first Brexit summit on Saturday, as they prepared to adopt a tough strategy for two years of talks with Britain.

EU President Donald Tusk insisted Britain would also benefit if unity boosted the chances of a deal, after Prime Minister Theresa May accused the other 27 countries of ganging up on London, AFP reported.

The 27 leaders meeting in Brussels will approve guidelines saying trade talks can only start once London agrees divorce terms on citizens’ rights, its exit bill and Northern Ireland.

“We need to remain united as the EU 27. It is only then that we will be able to conclude the negotiations, which means that our unity is also in the UK’s interest,” Tusk said.

The meeting in Brussels is the 27 countries’ first official Brexit summit since May triggered the Article 50 divorce process exactly one month ago. The call for a united front comes hot on the heels of a war of words between May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who said Britain should not have “illusions” about the talks.

“There will inevitably be a price and a cost for Britain,” French President Francois Hollande said, adding that “the aim of the summit is unity.”

However, the unity call comes after years of bitter internal divisions within the bloc on everything from the euro and migration to how to tackle growing euro-skepticism.

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