EU moves ahead faster on fu­ture than Brexit

The Republican Herald - - NATION/WORLD -

TALLINN, Es­to­nia (AP) — Twen­ty­seven Euro­pean Union na­tions, ex­clud­ing Bri­tain, will be com­ing up with clear op­tions on a more tightly knit fu­ture for them­selves even be­fore they will al­low di­vorce ne­go­ti­a­tions with the U.K. to move to­ward bro­ker­ing a new re­la­tion­ship.

EU Coun­cil Pres­i­dent Don­ald Tusk said Fri­day he would be pre­sent­ing “a po­lit­i­cal agenda in two weeks’ time,” af­ter EU vi­sion state­ments in re­cent weeks from French Pres­i­dent Em­manuel Macron, EU Com­mis­sion Pres­i­dent Jean-Claude Juncker and oth­ers on how to the re­form the bloc.

That will be just days be­fore the next EU sum­mit, which is ex­pected to re­ject for now Bri­tish de­mands to start ne­go­ti­at­ing on the coun­try’s fu­ture links with the bloc along­side the cur­rent talks on how to make the clean­est Brexit pos­si­ble.

Of­fi­cials said Tusk will be given the job of rec­on­cil­ing Macron’s vi­sion of how the EU should em­brace a joint bud­get, a shared mil­i­tary and har­mo­nized taxes to stay glob­ally rel­e­vant with those ideas of EU na­tions that might not want to grow too closer too quickly.

Tusk said he would seek “real so­lu­tions to real prob­lems” and stressed the need to make progress “step-by-step, is­sue-by-is­sue.”

Macron said the EU had to seize the mo­ment of hav­ing an im­proved econ­omy and in­creased con­fi­dence in the bloc to push through re­forms be­fore Euro­pean elec­tions in 2019.

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