EU27 agree Brexit negotiating guidelines

The Maltese minister who chaired the meeting says European Union ministers showed "remarkable" unity.

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BRUSSELS - European Union ministers agreed their negotiating guidelines for talks with Britain on its withdrawal from the bloc, showing "remarkable" unity, the Maltese minister who chaired the meeting said on Thursday.

"It was an unprecedented signal of trust, unity and consensus of the 27... This a very good start to these complex negotiations ahead of us," Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech told reporters after two hours of talks in Luxembourg.

"All delegations agree with the overall thrust of the guidelines and express their full support. The main elements of the guidelines were achieving a fair and equitable result for all member states and maintaining unity and trust within the 27."

Government leaders from the 27 will meet to endorse the guidelines, which will bind the EU executive's negotiator Michel Barnier once he launches full negotiations with London after the British election on June 8.