“A failure and a tragedy” – the words the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has chosen to describe Brexit.
However Juncekr promised no to dramatise the talks, confirming that Brussels will approach the negotiation of Britain’s withdrawal in a “friendly” and “fair” way, but warned that European institutions were not “naive” about the process.
Juncker also confirmed that the UK will be confronted with a bill for leaving, but insisted that this did not represent a “punishment”, but merely the settling of commitments made by the UK.
He did not put a figure on the bill, which reports suggest could amount to as much as €60bn (£52bn), to cover liabilities for projects which the UK previously agreed to help fund, as well as pensions for EU officials who served during the period of its membership.
The UK Prime Minister Theresa May said “no deal is better than bad deal”, meaning she is not going to bow to Brussels if the requests are unreasonable.