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Brexit: letter from Tusk and Juncker to PM May. Commitment to ensuring “orderly withdrawal” to avoid negative consequences

(Brussels) “We regret but respect the decision of the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. We also consider that Brexit is a source of uncertainty and disruption. In these challenging times, we therefore share with you the determination to create as much certainty and clarity as possible for citizens and companies in a situation where a Member State leaves the European Union after more than four decades of closest economic and political integration”. Thus begins the long (5-page) open letter which the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, and the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, addressed to UK Prime Minister Theresa May today, ahead of tomorrow’s vote in Westminster on the EU-UK Brexit deal. May is facing fierce political opposition: tomorrow her deal may be voted down in Parliament, and today the prime minister is due to deliver two speeches, one in a factory in Stoke-on-Trent (the UK’s most pro-Brexit town) and one in the House of Commons, arguing that if her deal fails to pass in Parliament, the UK risks “staying in the EU”. Tusk and Juncker therefore stressed that the withdrawal agreement “represents a fair compromise and aims to ensure an orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, thereby limiting the negative consequences of Brexit”. At the same time, they reiterated several points aimed at reassuring the UK about its future relations with the 27.

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