Brexit. Financial Times: the first version of the European Council’s negotiating guidelines

LONDON - EU leaders prepare tough opening guidelines in Brexit talks. European Union leaders are preparing an tough opening stance for Brexit talks, according to the draft of the bloc’s first formal response to Britain’s request to begin Article 50 exit talks. The first version of the European Council’s negotiating guidelines, seen by the Financial Times, lays down exacting conditions on the UK, making clear that a smooth transition out of the single market will require accepting the bloc’c laws, supervisors, courts and budget contributions.

Before EU leaders are willing to open talks about future UK-EU trade relations, the draft states that “sufficient progress” must be made in talks on withdrawal terms, covering the rights of EU migrants in Britain and outstanding UK financial liabilities to the EU. Paris and Berlin are supportive of this “phased approach” to negotiations.