EU Council President Donald Tusk has presented to Parliament the Guidelines for Brexit negotiations agreed by the EU27 last month.
A number of senior EU officials appeared before Parliament on May 17 to discuss the EU's position on Brexit. They included Tusk, Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, and the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, Michael Barnier.
The negotiating position agreed by the EU27 on April 27 stressed that the Union will act as one throughout the process "with the aim of reaching a result that is fair and equitable for all member states." It also determined that, while the Council is ready to work towards an agreement on the EU's future trading relationship with the UK, this must be finalized and concluded once the UK is no longer an EU member state.
Juncker informed Parliament that the detailed negotiating mandate will be presented for adoption at a Council meeting on May 22.
Barnier reiterated to MEPs that no negotiations on the future relationship between the EU and the UK can take place before "tangible progress" on the exit agreement is made. The EU will also seek to guarantee the rights of its citizens in the UK, and insist that the UK respect all the financial commitments it made while a member state.
Barnier confirmed that negotiations will begin after the conclusion of the UK's general election, which will take place on June 8.
MEPs said that, in parallel to negotiations for an "orderly withdrawal" of the UK, the EU itself must be reformed, "to rapidly respond to citizens' concerns and make the benefits of European integration much more visible."