No EU multiple choices for the UK in Brexit talks

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There will be no place for pick and choose tactics in future Brexit negotiations, European Council President Donald Tusk warned on Wednesday.

Tuesday’s speech by Prime Minister Theresa May proves that the unified position of 27-member states on the indivisibility of the single market was finally understood and accepted by London, Tusk said.

In the decisive speech that sets a course for a clean break with the European Union, May promised to quit the EU single market and seek a free trade agreement with the EU.

She also pledged to restrict access to Britain by EU citizens and end the jurisdiction in Britain of the European Court of Justice. The 12-point blueprint was dubbed a “hard Brexit”.

Tusk had travelled to Strasbourg, where the European Parliament was located, to present the Council’s views on the results reached by talks held between European leaders at the end of 2016.

Members of the European Parliament, meeting for a plenary session in Strasbourg, shared perspectives on Brexit negotiations in the day.

They showed a rare agreement with the European Council and the European Commission in a debate with representatives of the institutions on the outcomes of the last European Union Summit in December.

Migration and defense cooperation were also important topics, but Brexit negotiations topped the list of concerns among EU lawmakers.

“We’re very grateful for the new elements that have been clarified in the speech yesterday, but I don’t think this provides us real clarity just yet,” said Manfred Weber (Germany) for the European People’s Party Group (EPP).

“We are not going to accept that the Euro will be managed largely in the city of London, if London no longer belongs to the European Union,” Weber affirmed.

Guy Verhofstadt, the lead Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament, agreed with both Tusk and his colleague Manfred Weber.

“No cherry-picking at all, we shall never accept it,” the former Prime Minster of Belgium said.

European Commission Vice-President Katainen shared the view that unity would be of importance to all parties in Brexit negotiations.

“Even Prime Minister May says she doesn’t want other countries to follow the UK, because she says a strong EU is important for the UK,” the Finnish Commissioner asserted.

May has indicated that Britain will trigger Article 50, the formal procedure by which an EU member state notifies the European Council that it intends to leave the block, by the end of March.

Once triggered, Article 50 requires “divorce” negotiations to be completed within two years.