The 27 determine their position on Brexit on April 29
Summit of European leaders to prepare for the negotiations
The 27-member position in the Brexit negotiations with London will be determined on Saturday, April 29, at the summit of European leaders, as announced by the President of the European Council Donald Tusk.
During a press conference in Brussels, Tusk said: "I convened a European Council on Saturday 29 April to adopt the guidelines for the negotiations on the Brexit debate."
Tusk's statement comes a day after the British government announced it would formally begin the process of leaving the EU on March 29.
This means that London will activate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which officially signals Britain's intention to leave the EU.
The move will mark the start of a two-year negotiation period in which the British government and the EU hope to agree on the terms of Britain's withdrawal and have a separate agreement on the form of its future relationship, trade between them, reports the French Agency and rebroadcasts the Athenian News Agency.
But the leaders of the 27 member states will first have to agree on "negotiating guidelines" during their meeting in late April, which will have to follow detailed "negotiating instructions".
This means that negotiations will not be able to start until several weeks after the April 29 meeting.
Tusk announced yesterday that he would present "within 48 hours" after the activation of Article 50 "the negotiating guidelines", which should be adopted by the 27 at their meeting.
"I personally would have preferred Britain not to have left the EU, but the majority of British voters have made a different decision," Tusk said today.
"So we must do everything we can to make divorce as painless as possible for the EU," he added.