Europe News

EU to hold summit on April 29 as Brexit negotiations begin

Jasper Juinen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The European Union is relieved that the U.K. government has finally announced that it is ready to start Brexit negotiations.

Nine months after voters in the U.K. decided to leave the EU, the British government announced that it will begin the Brexit process next Wednesday, March 29th.

Donald Tusk, President of the European Council said Tuesday on Twitter that the EU will adopt its guidelines for the Brexit negotiations at a summit on April 29th.

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"At last, we've been waiting for Brexit negotiations to get started since the Brexit vote," Michel Sapin, the French finance minister, told reporters in Brussels on Monday.

"It's taken quite a long time because the British authorities needed some time to prepare, but at last we will be able to get into the subject in detail and I hope in a constructive manner by both sides," he added.

The European Commission - which is the lead negotiator on behalf of the other 27 countries – said Monday that "everything is ready" on their side to discuss the divorce proceedings.

Will try to seek close relationship with the UK: Moscovici

However, there are concerns that the process will not be concluded within the two-year timeframe set up under EU law.

Pierre Moscovici, the EU's commissioner for taxation and financial affairs, refused to speculate whether the two-years will be enough. He told CNBC on Tuesday that the two-years are "what the treaty says," suggesting that's the deadline they need to work with.

Moscovici also told CNBC that the EU will try to find a "close relationship" with the U.K. but he warned that "it cannot be the same to be a member of the club and to be out of the club."

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