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No preparatory talks on Brexit before the UK triggers Article 50

The European Commission has again rejected Theresa May’s call for preparatory talks on Brexit before the UK triggers Article 50, sources such as theguardian.com, Le Monde, Luxemburger Wort and others report. Jean-Claude Juncker’s chief spokesman Margaritis Schinas said that the European Commission President will meet Ms May on the sidelines of a European summit in October, but would not negotiate with her, theguardian.com reports.

“I cannot go an inch beyond the ‘no negotiations without notification’ principle,” Margaritis Schinas said. “When it comes to article 50, we will work constructively on the basis of a notification, not on the basis of a speech. And until this letter of notification arrives, there will be no negotiations. Once it arrives we are prepared to engage constructively and in good faith,” Mr Schinas added. Mr Schinas also announced that former Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier took up his new office as Head of the Brexit negotiations representing the European Commission on 1 October and that Mr Barnier’s office will entail the preparation and internal coordination of the EC for the Brexit, Greek media report.

Meanwhile Maltese Prime Minister Muscat said, that Malta will not be leading the negotiations related to Brexit, The Malta Independent notes. Politicians of both the EU and the UK are actually readying themselves for the upcoming withdrawal from the EU by the UK, Het Financieele Dagblad reports.
Theresa May, Dirk Heilmann claims in Handelsblatt, has given her European partners clarity by announcing that, from April 2019, the UK will no longer be part of the EU. However, according to Le Monde, European leaders are not completely reassured by Ms May’s announcement, that she will trigger Article 50 by the end of March 2017.
Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Bratislava had made very clear, that the two-year procedure had to be finalised before the European elections in the spring of 2019. As the negotiations will take up to two years, the exit of the UK will take place before the European elections, Het Financieele Dagblad says. However, the smooth transition promised by the British PM seems compromised by another promise she made, to limit migration to Great-Britain, Le Monde reports.
The British backers of a hard Brexit have actually welcomed Ms May’s remarks, that she would prioritise control over immigration in exit negotiations, The WSJE comments. According to a Sun editorial, Ms May should use whatever leverage she needs to in Brexit talks, as there is no doubt the EU will do the same. Ms May, Il Sole 24 Ore notes, recently said that there is no “dichotomy” between a soft and a hard Brexit, but she also recently laid claim over Britain’s full sovereignty as for migration and the full jurisdictional preponderance of Britain’s Courts over the European Court of Justice, which is rather a hard stance. This is what the audience of the Tory Conference in Birmingham was expecting, Il Sole 24 Ore further says, and most probably the British government will ultimately do its best to find a median compromise between the two options.
The new British government, Het Financieele Dagblad reports, says little about the exit from the EU, a comment echoed by Jochen Buchsteiner in FAZ, who further claims that Theresa May “adeptly” used the speech at the Tory Party convention to outline the Brexit question without giving away too much. According to Le Monde, the solution of a simple trade agreement with the UK becomes more and more likely.
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