EU 27 agree ‘no single market a la carte’ for UK: Tusk
BRUSSELS – Agence France-Presse
AFP photoEU leaders agreed June 29 that Britain cannot have access to the single market after leaving the union without accepting the bloc’s rules on free movement, the bloc’s president Donald Tusk said.
“There will be no single market a la carte,” Tusk told a news conference in Brussels after the 27 other leaders of bloc countries met without British Prime Minister David Cameron for the first time.
“Leaders made it crystal-clear today that access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms including freedom of movement,” the president added.
The 27 EU leaders will also hold a summit – without Britain – in Bratislava on Sept. 16 to further discuss the fallout from Britain’s decision to leave the bloc, Tusk said.
The summit will come just days after Britain’s ruling Conservative Party is due to choose a successor to Cameron, who resigned on June 24 after his country voted in a referendum to leave the EU by 52 percent to 48.
“This was a first exchange so it is too early to draw conclusions. This is why we started a political reflection with 27 states and we’ll meet on Sept. 16 in Bratislava to continue our talks,” Tusk said.
The former Polish premier stressed that negotiations on Britain’s future relationship with the EU cannot start until it formally triggers the two-year process leading to a divorce. Cameron has said this is a task for his successor.
Tusk, meanwhile, said at the “calm and serious” discussion – the first EU talks without a British leader present for 40 years – they agreed it was a “serious moment in our common history.”
“One issue is clear from our debate. Leaders are absolutely determined to remain united,” he added.
Meanwhile, a European Union official said Tusk had no plans to meet with Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon on June 29 because the situation at the moment was too delicate, the Associated Press reported.
Sturgeon said there cannot be three months of drift until a new leader is chosen for Britain, and has indicated there might be a new referendum vote on Scottish independence.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said that “this is not the right, appropriate moment to meet.”