EU voices impatience with a lack of clarity from UK PM on what she expects
November 24, 2016: European Parliament leaders told London’s Brexit negotiator on Tuesday that Britain should expect to be shut out of cooperation in areas it values once it leaves the European Union.
David Davis met Guy Verhofstadt, the EU legislature’s lead Brexit negotiator, and Manfred Weber, a conservative ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel who leads the biggest bloc in the parliament.
The meetings are part of preparations before Prime Minister Theresa May starts negotiating in March under Article 50 of EU treaty.
Weber voiced impatience with a lack of clarity from May on what she will ask for.
He said a suggestion from Davis that Britain remain in or closely tied to the EU’s single market while rejecting free immigration by Europeans or the oversight of EU courts was not workable.
“Brexit means Brexit,” he said in Strasbourg, echoing May’s famously opaque definition of what her government will ask for following the June referendum vote to leave the Union.
“I see a British government that keeps saying where it wants to cooperate closely and not how it wants to leave the European Union,” he told reporters after meeting Davis.
He said Davis voiced an interest in maintaining economic ties and also close cooperation in areas such as justice and criminal affairs.
“So I must stress again: Brexit means Brexit, that means leaving the European Union, that means cutting off relations … and not cherry picking, not special relationships,” Weber said.