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.
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.