Fix key UK Brexit items 1st, then fall talks on future

Prime Minister Theresa May in Downing Street

EU president Donald Tusk will issue draft guidelines setting out the political priorities of the remaining 27 countries for what promise to be hard talks to sever Britain from the European bloc.

British Prime Minister Theresa May and President of the European Council Donald Tusk.

The European Council president Donald Tusk has informed the press that the United Kingdom has triggered Brexit with a six-page letter.

The European Union demanded that Britain make "sufficient progress" on its divorce before any talks on a future trade deal can start as it laid out its tough Brexit negotiating plans on Friday (March 31).

- Agreement on border arrangements, especially on the new EU-U.K. land border in Ireland, as well as those of British military bases on European Union member Cyprus.

Meanwhile Juncker will meet in Malta with EU President Donald Tusk, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

In a statement, the Elysée Palace said Mr Hollande spoke by phone with the Prime Minister and told her it was "necessary first to initiate discussions on the arrangements for withdrawal, notably relating to citizens' rights and the obligations arising from commitments made by the United Kingdom".

The second part of the EU's process will begin to set a framework for negotiations on a potential trade deal, while the third part will deal with the transition from the old to the new relationship.

Many of the European Union laws to be replaced concern workers' rights, environmental protection and consumer rights and critics fear these will be weakened as the bill will be passed without full parliamentary scrutiny.

Tusk also ruled out the suggestion that there was an inherent threat in May's departure letter Wednesday, which some felt hinted that Britain would end its security cooperation with continental Europe unless it gets a good Brexit deal.

A British government spokesman said on Friday that the draft negotiating guidelines from the European Union show a constructive approach ahead of negotiations.

Also looming large is the so-called "exit bill" which Britain will have to pay, estimated to be as much as 60 billion euros ($64 billion, £52 billion), and the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had been seeking parallel talks on the European Union divorce and the future but those apparently will not happen for the foreseeable future.

Brexit Secretary David Davis told the House of Commons that the Great Repeal Bill will provide "clarity and certainty" for businesses and citizens as Brexit takes place, with standards and rules maintained until Parliament decides to amend or remove them. "There was no linking security to securing a free trade deal".

But, EU officials say, negotiating a transition will require both sides to have a good outline of what the final relationship will look like.

The exit negotiations will be quite unlike the British entry negotiation almost half a century ago, when both sides agreed on the desired final goal-the incorporation of the United Kingdom into the then European Economic Community.

"That's where Britain can say to a country like Estonia, you back us on some of the things we're demanding in the (EU) exit negotiations and we'll be much more accommodating to you about pushing North Atlantic Treaty Organisation to locate troops on the Estonian-Russian border", Begg said.

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