EU To UK: No Free Trade A La Carte
"There will be no single market 'á la carte'" for the UK when it leaves the European Union (EU), according to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council.
Tusk made the comment after an informal meeting on June 29 of 27 EU heads of state. It was the first meeting of EU leaders in more than 40 years that the UK had not attended. It followed a June 28 meeting at which UK Prime Minister David Cameron outlined his views on the results of the UK's recent Brexit vote.
Tusk said that the EU's remaining leaders "are absolutely determined to remain united and work closely together as 27." He explained that leaders had agreed that "there will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw."
According to Tusk, leaders hope to have the UK "as a close partner in the future." However, they also "made it crystal clear … that access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms, including the freedom of movement. There will be no single market "á la carte'."
Tusk added that leaders "have started a political reflection on the future of [the] EU with 27 states." They will meet in Bratislava on September 16 to continue talks.
Cameron addressed the UK Parliament on June 29, and provided an update on the situation in Brussels. He said that many of the leaders who attended the June 28 meeting "were clear that it is impossible to have all of the benefits of membership without some of the costs of membership."
Cameron also noted that there had not been "a great clamour" for the UK to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty straightaway. "While there were one or two voices calling for this, the overwhelming view of my fellow-leaders was that we need to take some time to get this right," he stated.
Cameron will step down as leader of the Conservative party and Prime Minister in the coming months. Nominations for Conservative leader will close on June 30, and a new leader will be in place by early September. Cameron stressed that responsibility for triggering Article 50 will lie with his successor.
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