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
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
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
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