Tusk Said to Limit Barnier Talks to Brexit Divorce Not Trade

  • Tusk to relaese draft guidelines for Barnier by end of Friday
  • Limiting scope of talks will disappoint British hopes

EU's Tusk Says 'We Already Miss' U.K.

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European Council President Donald Tusk’s guidelines for Brexit chief Michel Barnier will probably limit the scope of the upcoming talks to the terms of the divorce and not include a future trade relationship with the U.K, three people familiar with the matter said.

Tusk is set to publish draft guidelines for Barnier by the end of this week after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May formally requests the split on Wednesday. His current stance would be a blow to the U.K. which wants to discuss the breakup and future ties in tandem to preserve bargaining power and support at home. The people asked not to be named as plans haven’t been finalized yet.

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Source: Bloomberg

EU officials have repeatedly said they want Britain to agree an exit fee of about 50 billion pounds ($62 billion) before they turn to the sweeping trade deal May is seeking.

Tusk’s guidelines will be sent to the 27 remaining members of the EU for discussion and ratified at a summit of leaders on April 29 in Brussels, after which they will set the framework for the negotiations. He will speak to reporters at 1:45 p.m. in Brussels on Wednesday.

One of the people said the EU’s priority will be to minimize the uncertainty for EU citizens and businesses by seeking an orderly split.

The risk of EU officials adopting a hard line might explain why May struck a conciliatory tone on Tuesday by saying she hoped the next two years of talks would “secure a new deep and special partnership” between the two sides.

Other topics Tusk will ask Barnier to negotiate include the rights of citizens throughout the bloc and the future of regulators such as the European Medicines Agency, Bloomberg reported on Monday, citing a person familiar with the matter.

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