PM May to Tusk: EU Draft on Brexit Undermining British Unity

 (Reuters) - The chairman of European Union leaders, Donald Tusk, and British Prime Minister Theresa May discussed on Thursday the “real political difficulties ahead” on Brexit, an EU official said.
The meeting, coming a day before May is to announce Britain’s expectations for a future relationship with the EU, also touched on the issue of a transition period after Britain leaves on March 29th, 2019 and on how to avoid a border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.
“(It was) an open and honest debate in a good atmosphere about the real political difficulties ahead of us,” the EU official said.
Tusk will present next week a joint EU stance on how the bloc sees a future relationship with Britain. EU leaders are due to endorse them a summit in Brussels in March.
“In light of Tusk’s draft guidelines next week and Prime Minister May’s upcoming speech, the main focus was on the content of and process towards the future relationship post Brexit,” the official said.
The official said Tusk took note of the repeatedly-stated British “red lines”, namely that London did not want to be part of the EU’s single market or customs union, and noted that these conditions will shape the future relationship.
The Chairman of the European Council Donald Tusk has arrived to London on Thursday to meet with UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
The day before, the European Commission published the draft agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community, presented on 119 pages. The document is the outcome of the first phase of the EU-UK Brexit talks.