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.
President Tusk has convened the European Council on 29 April 2017.
*Following the notification under Article 50 TEU, the member of the European Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participatein the discussions of the European Council or in decisions concerning it.
- Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union – Q&A
- Statement by the European Council on the UK notification, 29/03/2017
- The Article 50 notification letter, 29/03/2017
European Council on Brexit will take place on 29 April 2017
The special European Council, in an EU27 format, will adopt the guidelines for the Brexit talks. “We must do everything we can to make the process of divorce the least painful for the EU,” said President Tusk.