Remarks by President Donald Tusk after the informal meeting of 27 EU heads of state or government

European Council
  • 29/06/2016
  • 15:20
  • Statements and remarks
  • 396/16
  • Institutional affairs
29/06/2016
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Preben Aamann
European Council President Spokesperson
+32 22815150
+32 476850543

Good afternoon. Today 27 EU leaders discussed the consequences of the British referendum for Europe. It was a calm and serious discussion, as it is a serious moment in our common history. Certainly one issue is clear from our debate. Leaders are absolutely determined to remain united and work closely together as 27.

We reconfirmed that Britain's withdrawal from the European Union must be orderly and there will be no negotiations of any kind until the UK formally notifies its intention to withdraw. We hope to have the UK as a close partner in the future. It is up to the British government to notify the European Council of the UK's intention to withdraw from the EU. Leaders made it crystal clear today that access to the single market requires acceptance of all four freedoms, including the freedom of movement. There will be no single market "à la carte".

We also discussed the fact that there are too many people in Europe who are unhappy with the current state of affairs and who expect us to do better. Many recalled that for decades Europe was bringing hope and that we have a responsibility to return to that.

As you know it was a first exchange of 27 leaders after the British referendum and so it would be too early to draw conclusions. This is why we have started a political reflection on the future of EU with 27 states and will meet on 16 September in Bratislava to continue talks. Thank you.