EU Council president Donald Tusk rules out UK access to free trade...

EU Council president Donald Tusk rules out UK access to free trade without freedom of movement


President of the European Council Donald Tusk has ruled out free EU trade access for UK without also allowing freedom of movement.’

He said the remaining 27 nations are “absolutely determined” to stay united after Britain’s departure.

Following the conclusion of the summit, Mr Tusk said the 27 leaders had agreed that Britain would have to accept freedom of movement if it wants to maintain access to the single market as a non-member.

“Leaders made it crystal clear that access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms – including freedom of movement,” said Mr Tusk. “There will be no single market a la carte.”

Mr Tusk added that the EU wanted to keep the UK as a “close partner” in the future.

No negotiations on the future relationship would take place until the UK formally applied to withdraw through Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, he said.

“There will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw,” he said.

“It is up to the British Government to notify the European Council of the UK’s intention to withdraw.

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker dismissed critics who have blamed him for the referendum result.

He said that he did not intervene in the UK referendum at the request of the British Government.

Mr Tusk defended Mr Juncker against critics, saying that the reforms to the terms of UK membership negotiated with Mr Cameron ahead of the Brexit campaign were “the maximum – more than maximum – of what was possible” within the terms of the EU treaties and what member states could accept.

He acknowledged that many people across Europe were “unhappy with the current state of affairs”, and said Mr Cameron had warned during yesterday’s discussions that concerns over immigration were driving opposition to the EU.

But Mr Juncker said that while reforms were needed, there would be “no treaty change”.
The 27 states are to meet again to discuss their approach to Brexit in Slovak capital Bratislava on September 16, but Mr Cameron’s successor as British PM is not expected to be invited.

Meanwhile back in the UK, Brexit campaigners were booed and heckled in the Commons as angry Remain-backing MPs took out their frustrations following the historic vote to leave the European Union.

At Prime Minister’s Questions, Ukip MP Douglas Carswell was booed while pro-Brexit Tory Bernard Jenkin was accused of being “guilty by association” as he criticised Nigel Farage.

Pressure on Boris Johnson intensified as one Tory former minister referred to him as “Silvio Borisconi” and Labour MPs could be heard shouting “where’s Boris?”

Mr Johnson has faced criticism for failing to set out what happens next despite being the figurehead for the Brexit campaign and favourite to succeed David Cameron as Tory leader and prime minister.

‘No great clamour for divorce’

Out-going Prime Minister David Cameron has insisted there is no “great clamour” from European leaders for the UK to start its divorce from Brussels “straight away”.

Mr Cameron said contrary to some reports the “overwhelming view” of the European Council is that the UK should “take some time” before triggering Article 50 after the nation voted for Brexit on June 23.

The Prime Minister told MPs “everyone wants to see a clear blueprint” setting out Britain’s proposed relationship with the European Union before any final decisions are made.

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