EU Summit: European leaders meet in Brussels as divisions arise over Brexit, migrant policy

EU President Donald Tusk warned Thursday that the second phase of Brexit talks, on the bloc's future relationship with Britain, will be the "real test of our unity". European Union leaders meeting for a two-day summit in Brussels are expected to endorse an interim deal on the terms of Britain's divorce that May sealed with the EU last week after months of torturous negotiations. "I have no doubt that the real test of our unity will be the second phase of the Brexit talks," Tusk told reporters as he arrived for the summit. AP

European Union leaders meeting for a two-day summit in Brussels are expected to endorse an interim deal on the terms of Britain's divorce that Prime Minister Theresa May sealed with the EU last week after months of torturous negotiations. EU President Donald Tusk warned that the second phase of Brexit talks will be the "real test of our unity". AP

The 27 nations staying in the EU have maintained a unified front throughout the six months of at times acrimonious talks with London so far, but Tusk warned that the next stage, covering a post-Brexit transition phase and future relations between Britain and the EU, would be harder. Tusk said the "lack of unity is very visible" on two key subjects: plans for a way forward on the migration crisis, and proposals for reforms of the eurozone. AP

The 27 nations staying in the EU have maintained a unified front throughout the six months of at times acrimonious talks with London so far, but Tusk warned that the next stage, covering a post-Brexit transition phase and future relations between Britain and the EU, would be harder. Tusk said the "lack of unity is very visible" on two key subjects: plans for a way forward on the migration crisis, and proposals for reforms of the eurozone. AP

British Prime Minister Theresa May has told leaders of the European Union's 27 other member states at a summit that she is committed "to delivering a smooth and orderly exit from the European Union." A senior British government official told reporters that May told them over dinner Thursday that she wants to move onto the next phase of negotiations "with ambition and creativity." AP

May has told leaders that she is committed "to delivering a smooth and orderly exit from the European Union." A senior British government official told reporters that May had told them over dinner Thursday that she wants to move onto the next phase of negotiations "with ambition and creativity." AP

European Union nations bickered openly over migration policy Thursday in an east-west divide centered on several nations that refuse to accept refugee quotas. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia announced that they planned to spend around 35 million euros ($41 million) to beef up EU borders after the four countries — known as the "Visegrad Four" — were criticized for failing to show solidarity with the rest of the bloc. AP

The EU also bickered openly over migration policy in an east-west divide centred on several nations that refuse to accept refugee quotas. The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia announced that they planned to spend around 35 million euros to beef up EU borders after the four countries — known as the "Visegrad Four" — were criticised for failing to show solidarity with the rest of the bloc. AP

EU leaders are expected to unlock the next stage of Brexit negotiations at a summit on Friday after applauding British Prime Minister Theresa May's divorce proposals. Her 27 counterparts are set to agree there has been sufficient progress on key separation issues including Britain's exit bill and the Irish border to move talks onto the future relationship. But the EU will stress that while they will start talks on a post-Brexit transition in January, they will not begin trade talks until March as they need more clarity on Britain's goals for life after it leaves in 2019. AP

The bloc also distanced itself from Trump with a comment on Jerusalem. An EU official said leaders have reiterated their "firm commitment" to a two-state solution for Israel and Palestinians, in what amounts to a rebuke of Trump's recent decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Updated Date: Dec 15, 2017 14:27:08 IST

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