Brexit negotiations to ‘unite’ remaining 27 EU states

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The German Chancellor Merkel is assured that the remaining 27 members of the European Union would be united in their interest in Brexit negotiations.

Angela Merkel said that it was in the interest of the 27 member states to negotiate together with Britain.

“I told the British Prime Minister very clearly during our talks that first Article 50, then common guidelines from the European Council, and then the negotiations and I have no reason to doubt that this agreed strategy will be followed,” she said.

She also indicated that the EU will not respond to overtures by Britain to settle the issue of EU citizens in the country until it triggers Article 50.

Merkel has reportedly rejected an approach by Downing Street to deal with the rights of 3.3m EU citizens in the UK and 1.2m Brits in the continent post-Brexit.

On Monday Prime Minister Theresa May met with her Polish counterpart Beata Szydlo and said that the two countries would be “even closer” after the Britain leaves the EU, but stopped short of guaranteeing the future of nearly 800,000 Poles in the country.

May said that she would not guarantee the rights of EU citizens in Britain until the EU could guarantee the rights of Britons in Europe.

On Sunday, 80 MPs wrote to Donald Tusk, the European Council president, calling for an agreement on the issue to end uncertainty, but they said that the European Commission was not willing to engage in discussions until the clause is activated.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, tweeted that there could be “no negotiation without notification”.