EU President Donald Tusk said Friday that Britain must first settle the divorce issues of “people, money and Ireland” before any talks on a post-Brexit trade deal. In a letter to the other 27 EU leaders ahead of a key summit Saturday, Tusk said that “before discussing our future, we must first sort out our past.” The EU 27 are set to adopt guidelines for the negotiations on Brexit at the summit, following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s formal triggering of the two-year divorce process last month. Tusk said the “only possible approach” was phased talks, in which Britain must make “sufficient progress” on the divorce issues before negotiations on future ties.
Another EU leader,Former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi says that the EU must fundamentally change and get closer to its citizens if it is to survive. Renzi said in Brussels, where he is finishing his campaign to reclaim leadership of the Italian Democratic Party, that “Europe needs radical change” after last year’s British vote to leave the bloc and the rise of populism across the continent. Renzi is hoping this Sunday’s DP primary will see him rebound from the embarrassing defeat Italian voters dealt him last year in a referendum on reforms he made a centerpiece of his government. media agencies