‘We need a SERIOUS response’ EU officials say Britain has its head in the sand over Brexit

29 Apr

And on the issue of residency rights, which affects three million EU citizens in the Britain and more than a million UK citizens living on the continent, the senior official said leaders had been less than impressed by Mrs May’s wooly promises of an early deal. 

In particular they are unimpressed that the PM apparently thinks she can strike a “gentleman’s agreement” with the other 27 EU leaders which is not formally underpinned by an international body such as the European Court of Justice. 

They said: “If somebody wants to call our bluff and say let’s sign tomorrow, we can sign tomorrow. All our guarantees on citizens are ready. 

“But you can’t just say you and I have a gentleman’s agreement. You wouldn’t trust me on that. It has to be enforceable – we have to have it written down.” 

On when “sufficient progress” will be achieve, the official added: “I think that’s a mountain to climb – it has to be unanimous. I don’t see this happening any time soon, but let’s be very ambitious on that.”

In a press conference following the Council meeting Mr Tusk, usually the epitome of diplomacy, was unusually scathing in his assessment of the British response so far hinting at growing exasperation in Brussels over a perceived lack of preparation on the UK side. 

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