Brussels/Luxembourg, April 27 (TASR-correspondent) – The foreign affairs ministers of 27 member countries of the EU have agreed on a joint approach to guidelines for Brexit talks, and this agreement suits Slovakia’s interests well, said Slovak Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miroslav Lajcak after a special meeting of the EU General Affairs Council in Luxembourg on Thursday, which was devoted to Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon.
“The member countries came to an agreement fairly quickly, and all that Slovakia regards as important has been included. Most importantly, this includes the interests of our citizens and also the need for the United Kingdom to observe its financial commitments towards the EU. The supervisory role of member countries was also highlighted,” said the Slovak official.
More specifically, Slovakia has two priorities vis-a-vis Brexit – maintaining the current status of Slovak nationals living in the UK and ensuring that the UK delivers on its financial commitments before the end of the present programme period; that is, by the end of 2020, said Lajcak.
The unity of the EU27 was the overriding principle in the talks on Thursday. “Indeed, the talks today confirmed this unity. We all pledged our support to chief negotiator Michel Barnier, and I’d like this spirit of unity to last during the Brexit negotiations,” said Lajcak.
Even if a possible deal on collaboration between the EU and the UK is hammered out, mutual relations will never match those seen before Brexit, he noted. Admittedly, the status of Slovak citizens and entrepreneurs in the UK is likely to worsen somewhat, but the EU is committed to minimising the changes, he added.
The guidelines await approval at an extraordinary summit of the EU27 heads of state or government this Saturday. On May 22 the foreign affairs ministers are expected to meet again and okay concrete negotiating principles.
Lajcak believes that the snap election due in the UK in June shouldn’t hinder the Brexit negotiations.