European Council President Donald Tusk met Britain’s leader for talks Thursday about the U.K.’s departure from the EU, a day after the European Parliament laid out tough guidelines for the divorce negotiations.


Tusk, May


Tusk was greeted by Prime Minister Theresa May outside 10 Downing St. in London ahead of the bilateral meeting.


The talks come as both sides are settling on their negotiating positions. The European Parliament on Wednesday backed the bloc’s chief negotiator in demanding Britain pay as much as 60 billion euros ($64 billion) for outstanding commitments.


EU lawmakers also called for phased negotiations, in which divorce terms are settled before a new trade deal is secured. Britain wants the two strands to go hand-in-hand.


May triggered a two-year countdown to Brexit last month by invoking Article 50 of the EU’s key treaty. But she has acknowledged that getting a final deal may take longer. She says there will be an “implementation” phase once a deal is hammered out so businesses and government can adjust to the new rules.


Brexit talks are expected to start in late May once the negotiating guidelines of the EU’s 27 remaining nations have been sealed in a mandate for EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier.




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