European Council president, Donald Tusk has warned the “toughest stress test” of Brexit negotiations is still ahead and suggested Britain could still consider a stay in the bloc.
Referring to Theresa May’s hopes of negotiations moving to the next phase by the end of the year, the European Council president insisted it is “up to London” how the negotiations will end.
“With a good deal, no deal or no Brexit,” Mr Tusk added, in a report to the European Parliament on last week’s summit in Brussels.
At the summit, the other 27 EU member of the bloc refused to sanction the second phase of Brexit negotiations – on a possible post-Brexit trade deal and transitional arrangements, but nevertheless agreed to begin internal preparation towards it eventuality.
Mr Tusk in his statement to MEPs, hailed the EU27’s unity over Brexit and urged countries to remain together during the next segment of talks in order to “protect our common interest”.
“We have managed to build and maintain unity among the 27, but ahead of us is still the toughest stress test. If we fail it, the negotiations will end in our defeat”, he said.
He added: “We must keep our unity regardless of the direction of the talks. The EU will be able to rise to every scenario as long as we are not divided”.