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Brexit: Juncker, “Negotiations in the hands of divorce lawyers”. Verhofstadt, “Time to change and go on for the EU”

(Strasburg) “Brexit negotiations will show us the best side of the EU, our common goals and solidarity”, in order “to defend the rights of EU citizens living in the United Kingdom”, and to grant the rights of British citizens living in Europe. President of the European Council Donald Tusk is persuaded of that. Today he is in Strasburg debating with MEPs about Brexit. Tusk confirms the results of the European Council of 29 April: granting the rights of EU citizens as well as EU interests; find the best conditions for “divorce” from London first, and then think about relations between the EU and the United Kingdom; after Brexit, the Island will be regarded as a third-party country to cultivate good relationships and to collaborate with, under several respects (politics, economy, security and defence…). President of the Commission Jean-Claude Juncker share the same views: “Negotiations are now in the hands of our divorce lawyers. However, Brexit cannot absorb all our energy”, and thus he lists all the urgent items for the EU to concentrate on, for its future. In the Parliament and outside, opinions are more or less the same, apart from the position of Brits and some nationalistic organisations of the Parliament. Guy Verhofstadt, in charge of Brexit for the European Parliament, says: “Brexit was a strong message for Europe, and frightened many citizens. Populists are losing elections. That is a message for the EU: it’s time for reforms, and look ahead”.

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