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05 July 2016

Report by President Donald Tusk to the European Parliament on the European Council and the informal meeting of 27 EU leaders

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Council President first explained the Council discussions on the migration crisis, cyber threats and digital and capital markets. Tusk then turned to the political consequences of the UK referendum and said that the EU-27 will continue its political reflection on the EU in September.

[...] Let me now turn to Brexit, where our discussion was calm and measured. Respecting the will of the British people, the EU leaders recognised that a process of orderly exit is now in everyone's, and especially in the UK's, interest. Prime Minister Cameron explained why he is leaving the decision to trigger Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union to the new leadership in Britain. The leaders understand that some time is needed to allow the political landscape to settle in Britain. But they also expect the intentions of the UK government to be specified as soon as possible.

We also considered the post-Brexit economic situation in the presence of the European Central Bank President, who reassured us about the cooperation of international financial institutions. However, it was also made clear that Brexit means substantially lower growth in the UK, with a possible negative spillover all over the world.

For the second day of our summit the leaders met informally without the UK Prime Minister to discuss our common future. I would like to reassure you that the leaders are absolutely determined to remain united and work closely together as 27. We also agreed that there will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw from the EU. It is now up to the British government to submit such a notification to the European Council.

We hope to have the UK as a close partner in the future. But leaders made it clear that access to the single market means acceptance of all four freedoms, including the freedom of movement. We will not sell off our freedoms and there will be no single market "à la carte".

This was the first exchange of the 27 leaders after the British referendum. It is still too early to draw conclusions more broadly on our future course. But it is clear that too many people in Europe are unhappy with the current state of affairs, be it on the national or European level, and expect us to do better. The leaders recalled during our debate that for decades Europe has brought hope and that we have a responsibility to return to that. This is why the EU-27 will meet informally on 16 September in Bratislava, kindly hosted by the Slovak presidency. We will take this opportunity to continue our political reflection. 

Full press release

Speech by President Jean-Claude Juncker

That is the reason we are waiting for the British notification. I could understand that the remain camp needs weeks to reflect, but I do not understand that the Brexit camp needs months before knowing what to do. I would have thought that they had a plan. Instead of developing a plan, they are leaving the boat. I totally agree with President Tusk: we are waiting for the notification – no negotiation before notification. And those who want to have a free access to the internal market have to respect the four freedoms including the one of freedom of movement. This has to be done.

Full speech

© European Council

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