Press release

PM phone call with the President of the European Council: 19 July 2016

PM Theresa May spoke with the President of the European Council Donald Tusk and discussed the approach to negotiations on the UK’s exit from the EU.

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A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The President of the European Council Donald Tusk called the Prime Minister yesterday evening to congratulate her on her appointment.

The Prime Minister thanked President Tusk for the clear message he has given that the UK remains a full member of the EU until such a time as we leave and the Prime Minister underlined that she wants to approach the negotiations on the UK’s exit from the European Union in a constructive and pragmatic spirit.

In this context, the Prime Minister suggested that the UK should relinquish the rotating Presidency of the Council, currently scheduled for the second half of 2017, noting that we would be prioritising the negotiations to leave the European Union. Donald Tusk welcomed the PM’s swift decision on this issue which would allow the Council to put alternative arrangements in place.

Finally, the Prime Minister explained that we will need to carefully prepare for the negotiations to leave the EU before triggering Article 50. Donald Tusk reassured the Prime Minister that he will help to make this process happen as smoothly as possible.

They concluded by looking forward to a strong working relationship and agreed that they should meet soon in Brussels or London.

Published 20 July 2016