European Union says ready to welcome back United Kingdom if it decides to stay

Toby Manning
April 21, 2017

The president of the European Commission believes "real" Brexit talks will only start after British snap elections called for June 8, an EU spokesman said on Wednesday.

The UK's upcoming general election should ease pressure on UK PM Theresa May to please her more hardline supporters, European Parliament chief Antonio Tajani has said.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Tajani indicated that the Article 50 process could be halted if the Government wanted after the election.

Meanwhile, the European Commission's draft negotiating document indicated that Brussels officials also believe that the ECJ should rule over the agreement on citizens' rights.

"Apart from the legal requirement for a contracting party to be established in the European Union, there may be political or practical reasons that speak in favour of contracting parties established in a specific member state, not only at the conclusion of the contract, but also throughout the duration of the contract", the note states.

The EU has already voiced concern that British red tape is making it hard to claim rights to permanent residence after five years and the paper said it must have a "simple and swift" procedure in place that should be free or at worst no more expensive than Britons paid for similar public documents.

"This is very, very important for us", he added.

"We want the same rights as today".

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May made an unexpected announcement on Tuesday that she would seek a "snap" election less than halfway through her government's five-year term, with the aim of gaining a stronger mandate for the country's historic withdrawal from the European Union.

"No decisions have been taken about the location of the European Banking Authority or the European Medicines Agency, these will be subject to the exit negotiations", a spokeswoman for the British Brexit department said in prepared remarks.

"The European Parliament will vote against only if the citizens rights is outside".

"That's what this is about, it's about asking the people to trust me, to trust us in government, to give us that mandate to go and get that really good deal for the United Kingdom".

A subtle edit has also downplayed the EU's view of how soon it is willing to engage in discussions on an ambitious post-Brexit trade deal with the UK.

"We need to start immediately on this at the beginning of the negotiations". Its executive director, Adam Farkas, said last month that Brexit was a "major talking point among the staff" at its Canary Wharf headquarters.

"I will inform the [European] council of this meeting and that it was positive".

Other reports by VgToday

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