dglobalnews.com Is bribery going to be Theresa May's main Brexit negotiating tactic?
Published: Mon, April 10, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Is bribery going to be Theresa May's main Brexit negotiating tactic?

Is bribery going to be Theresa May's main Brexit negotiating tactic?

Britain's chief negotiator in the country's divorce from the European Union on Thursday rejected suggestions that the United Kingdom has threatened to end security co-operation unless it gets a good trade deal with the bloc's remaining member countries.

Tusk spoke two days after May triggered the U.K.'s exit procedures, starting two years of negotiations that will seek to disentangle a 44-year relationship.

Malta's Prime Minister Joseph Muscat echoed Tusk, saying that Brexit talks will be "very tough" and "unprecedented" for the European Union - but added that it "will not be a war" with Britain.

"Starting parallel talks on all issues at the same time, as suggested by some in the United Kingdom, will not be happen". "That process starts now", Davis said in a statement.

The EU guidelines make clear there can be no talks on the shape of any future relationship at this stage.

Legally, a trade deal can not be signed until Britain has left and many on both sides believe that, going by typical times to negotiate such accords, it will take several years beyond 2019 before one is in place.

That puts them directly at odds with Mrs May who said in her formal Article 50 letter to Mr Tusk that she wanted the two negotiations to proceed in parallel.

In the draft guidelines sent to member states, the European Union says that its "overall objective in these negotiations will be to preserve its interests, those of its member states, its citizens and its businesses".

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While the guidelines insist that a trade deal can only be formally concluded once the United Kingdom has ceased its membership, they add that it will be possible to negotiate "an overall understanding on the framework for the future relationship" prior to Brexit to allow for a swift agreement after withdrawal.

Key EU leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel, while sympathetic to Ireland's concerns, have to date been wary of the mandate highlighting specific national interests of any member states.

"These are draft guidelines and we look forward to beginning negotiations once they have formally been agreed by the 27 member states".

The guidelines also say the issue of citizens living in each other's countries is a priority, and call for "flexible and imaginative solutions" for the issue of the U.K.'s land border with Ireland.

"May very constructive generally, but there is also one threat in it", European Parliament Brexit co-ordinator Guy Verhoftstadt said, adding that May seemed to be demanding a good trade deal in exchange for continued security co-operation.

"Only once we have achieved sufficient progress on the withdrawal, can we discuss framework for the future", European Council President Donald Tusk said Friday at a press conference in Malta.

The EU and Britain have two years to negotiate the terms of Brexit.

The common thread running through all the columns across Germany, Italy, France, Poland, Spain and Sweden was the message that Britain's exit from the EU was not an attempt "to do harm to the European Union or any of the remaining member states".

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