European Union summit date on Brexit announced

The UK Government should be prepared to accept the continued jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in some areas after the UK has left the EU, a cross-party group of MPs has said.

"It's not a small event, it's a situation that is grave and exceptional", he noted.

During a wide-ranging speech, Barnier also set to spell out the running order of negotiations as well as the necessary conditions for reaching an agreement. It should be based on European Union laws, subject to European Union courts, and of limited duration.

It comes after the Times reported that Brexit-backing Cabinet ministers want Mr Hammond to cap any exit settlement at a maximum of £3 billion.

But the actual Brexit talks will not start for around three or possibly more weeks after the summit, when ministers will formally give a mandate to Mr. Barnier, EU officials said.

"Our main priority for the negotiations must be to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for all citizens, companies and member states that will be negatively affected by Brexit, as well as our important partners and friends around the world". So far, however, she's unwilling to guarantee existing rights outside of a broader agreement.

"We will not ask the British to pay a single euro for something they have not agreed to as a member", he said.

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The EU's divorce negotiator warned last December the United Kingdom could be slapped with a bill for £50bn to cover items of the bloc's budget the country had already agreed to pay towards. Britain hasn't ruled out paying, but is expected to contest the bill.

As reported by BuzzFeed News last week, the EU's chief negotiator confirmed the matters the European Union and its 27 member states wanted to address early in the negotiations.

Separately, European Investment Bank (EIB) has estimated that Britain's bill for settling its financial position with the bank could be very costly.

The Frenchman said: "The United Kingdom would be seriously affected by this situation: two-thirds of its trade is now framed - and protected - by the single market and the free trade agreements concluded by the European Union with more than 60 partner states".

"The sooner we reach a deal on an orderly withdrawal, the sooner we can prepare for the future relationship", he said, adding that leaving hard divorce issues until the last moment was playing with failure.

European Union wants ambitious trade agreement with Britain, one taking into account social, fiscal, environmental matters, protection of consumers.

But Barnier said the absence of a deal could lead to long queues of trucks at British port city Dover, disruption of flights to and from the United Kingdom and a shortage of nuclear fuel for Britain's nuclear power plants.

  • Regina Walsh