eu-leaders-acknowledge-brexit-now-inevitable

EU leaders acknowledge Brexit now inevitable

After Boris Johnson won a large majority in Thursday’s election, it looks now all but certain the U.K. will leave the European Union on January 31 | Ben Stensall/AFP via Getty Images

EU leaders acknowledge Brexit now inevitable

EU27 leaders are already strategizing how to get what they want in the next phase of the Brexit talks.

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12/13/19, 12:08 PM CET

Updated 12/13/19, 12:20 PM CET

EU leaders said Friday they will now work to ensure close cooperation with the United Kingdom after it leaves the EU.

After Boris Johnson won a large majority in Thursday’s election, it looks now all but certain the U.K. will leave the European Union on January 31 — a fact conceded by EU leaders as thoughts immediately turned to fresh negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the bloc.

“We expect as soon as possible a vote by the British parliament on the Withdrawal Agreement,” European Council President Charles Michel said on arriving at a summit of EU leaders in Brussels. “The EU will negotiate to ensure to have a close cooperation in the future with the U.K.,” he added, noting that “the integrity of the Single Market is a very important issue for us.”

Brexit will happen at the end of next month, Belgium Prime Minister Sophie Wilmès told reporters. “Of course there is a deadline. The 31st of January, it exists, and we shall see what the future will say,” she said.

She added that the EU wants a good trade relationship with the U.K.

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