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The EU demands more from May, but opens a slit to avoid a rupture

The leaders summit in Brussels points to December to discuss the future PostBrexit

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The EU demands more from May, but opens a slit to avoid a rupture

The EU winks at United Kingdom to avoid discouragement of Brexit. The Heads of State and Government will see this Friday in Brussels that re is not enough progress to give up divorce phase and move on to what really matters in London: future trade agreement with Brussels. But at same time, summit will offer a kind of consolation prize to Prime Minister Theresa May. The twenty-seven will declare mselves ready to prepare discussion on framework that will happen to Brexit. May asked this Thursday for progress in this complex process.

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The British withdrawal from EU is seen in a radically opposite direction on both sides of channel of La Mancha. "We will examine concrete progress we have made during our negotiations and set ambitious plans we have for coming weeks," British Prime minister, Theresa May, relied on her entry to summit. "There is not enough progress to move to second phase," synsized German chancellor Angela Merkel, but also opened a gap to future: "We will continue discussions with a view to reaching second phase in December."

That particular reference at end of year is what saves May from returning to London with a sense of defeat. The October summit was designed to certify progress in divorce negotiations to open desired second phase. Once found that this scenario was unattainable, twenty-seven devised a formula that would file asperities. The conclusions that are expected to pass this Friday leaders (in format post-Brexit, already without May) point to summit of December as date to approve mandate of negotiation of future relation. And for this y start already " internal preparatory discussions".

Free Trade Division

The level of ambition EU must take in its trade treaties is one of most controversial points in summit. The division was palpable at entrance of meeting. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, leads least enthusiastic line with hyperactivity deployed by Brussels in this area in recent times, with negotiations underway with Mercosur, Mexico, Australia or New Zealand.

"A Europe that protects is a Europe that knows how to negotiate good free trade agreements to protect its workers and consumers," said Macron upon arrival. "I do not like approach that we must stop free trade negotiations," Swedish Prime minister, Stefan Löfven, was in spotlight. Or countries such as Nerlands and Finland also do not share such misgivings towards globalization. Opposite, France bets on a balance between traditional free position of EU and nod to criticisms of citizens to agreements such as CETA (with Canada) or TTIP (with USA).

This concretion was uncomfortable for some states, who were reluctant to give Arnica to United Kingdom. The reason is that a chapter of three that make up basket of divorce ( adjustment of accounts between London and Brussels at time of departure) has not progressed a millimeter since beginning of negotiation. "But mention of December does not commit us to anything," says a European diplomat.

Before this Friday's session, May was pretending to take advantage of last night's dinner, which he did attend, to appeal to Concord. No country expected concrete promises, but British leader Caldeó atmosphere in morning, with a letter of attachment to more than three million Community citizens who reside in UK and who will be directly affected by rupture. This is only section of negotiation that records significant advances.

Although all European voices count, role of Germany in final tone of Brexit (soft or hard) is fundamentally anticipated. Beyond public statements, German Foreign Ministry advocates an internal document, which has had access to this newspaper, by a broad free trade agreement, which includes at least foreign and security policy, fight against terrorism , cooperation in justice, agricultural and fisheries policy, energy, transport (especially air) and digital and R D issues. The key, however, is Pact on financial services: wher City can remain financial center of Europe or wher Berlin is going to press to bring continent; to Frankfurt.

Before entering Brexit — most substantial section of leaders ' appointment in Brussels — twenty-eight dealt with or issues. The date started with migration. The rulers congratulated mselves on having left behind worst moments of migratory crisis, but y are aware that tensions can emerge at any time.

Funds for Africa

The European Commission urged countries to nurture Trust Fund for Africa, main instrument of which EU has been endowed to promote development of neighbouring continent (mainly to contain migratory flows). Some countries are wary of this instrument, endowed with 3.1 billion euros (almost totality from community budgets). "It is clearly insufficient;" "If we want to be present in Africa, we have to increase it," urged EU executive President Jean-Claude Juncker.

The twenty-eight avoided deepening most controversial debate: reform of asylum system to balance responsibility between Member States. As a lever of pressure to European Council, which represents States, Parliament approved this Thursday its model, which must now be negotiated with rulers. This is a permanent system for delivery of refugees among Community countries, something that raises blisters among many leaders (especially those in east). Parliament proposes that each country should receive asylees depending on its GDP and its population and that structural Funds should be deducted from those who do not cooperate. It is very unlikely that Council will endorse this formula.

At dinner, more informal, re was a discussion about Turkey. The matter was included in agenda at request of Germany, when fiction of keeping that country as an aspiring candidate to enter EU heated campaign of German elections. Almost a month later, moods have been serene, and neir Berlin, nor almost any or capital, seriously advocates suspending that link — in frozen practice — with a strategic partner.

At same time, y are reluctant to sit idly by deterioration of democracy in Turkey. And y cling to an intermediate way: to maintain, on paper, prospect of accession but to freeze — or to reorient — European funds received by Turkey in preparation for European integration.

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