Migration, Security to Top EU Summit If No Brexit, Draft Shows

  • Draft statement leaves U.K. agenda item blank pending vote
  • Leaders to reiterate their backing for EU-Turkey agreement

Europe’s migration crisis and security policy will be the main topics for European Union leaders at a summit next week if the U.K. votes to remain in the bloc, a draft communique shows.

EU heads of state and government will call for long-term solutions to stem the flow of refugees from the Middle East and Africa as well as efforts to ensure March’s deal between the EU and Turkey doesn’t collapse, according to a draft of their statement obtained by Bloomberg. Leaders will also be asked for views on a blueprint for foreign and security policy that is likely to see more sharing of defense capabilities and closer cooperation with NATO, the text shows.

“It is important to continue working actively to ensure a sustainable solution” to the migration crisis, leaders will say, according to the draft. The EU and Turkey need to take “determined action” to ensure the sustainability of their plan to stop migrants entering Europe through Greece and the EU must “remain vigilant about potential developments regarding other routes so as to be able to take rapid and concerted action.”

While leaders will discuss the outcome of Thursday’s U.K. referendum on EU membership irrespective of the result, it’s likely that a vote to leave would crowd out much of the agenda as policy makers start to map out the way forward for negotiations on Britain’s exit. A section relating to the U.K. has been left blank on the draft statement.

Leaders will give impetus to the EU-Turkey deal that potentially grants Turks visa-free travel to Europe and the phased delivery of 6 billion euros ($6.7 billion) in EU funds in return for halting the influx of refugees making their way to Europe. Attention has since shifted to the migrant route through Italy, which is now busier than the path through Greece.

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