EU responds to Brexit letter: “The Union will act as one and preserve its interests”

New Europe / Alexandros Michailidis

European Council President Donald Tusk holds a press conference after receiving British Prime Minister Theresa May's Brexit letter in notice of the UK's intention to leave the bloc under Article 50 of the EU's Lisbon Treaty. Brussels, 29 Mar. 2017

EU responds to Brexit letter: “The Union will act as one and preserve its interests”


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The European Council president Donald Tusk has informed the press that the UK has triggered Brexit with a six-page letter.

Theresa May’s Brexit letter arrived in Brussels on Wednesday and qualifies as a formal notification of the UK’s intention to activate withdrawal process under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.

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The official statement of the EU Council is the following:

“Today, the European Council received a letter from the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, notifying the United Kingdom’s intention to leave the European Union. This notification follows the referendum of 23 June 2016 and starts the withdrawal process under Article 50 of the Treaty. We regret that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union, but we are ready for the process that we now will have to follow.

For the European Union, the first step will now be the adoption of guidelines for the negotiations by the European Council. These guidelines will set out the overall positions and principles in light of which the Union, represented by the European Commission, will negotiate with the United Kingdom.

In these negotiations the Union will act as one and preserve its interests. Our first priority will be to minimise the uncertainty caused by the decision of the United Kingdom for our citizens, businesses and Member States. Therefore, we will start by focusing on all key arrangements for an orderly withdrawal.

We will approach these talks constructively and strive to find an agreement. In the future, we hope to have the United Kingdom as a close partner.”

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