Ladies and gentlemen,
I am happy to be here with you today.
I have just attended the meeting of the College of Commissioners, at the invitation of Jean-Claude Juncker.
Our first day of negotiations, on 19June, was useful to start off on the right foot.
But the hard work starts now.
We need to engage substantially in all issues of the first phase of negotiations, as agreed with the UK on 19 June:
- citizens’ rights,
- the single financial settlement,
- the new borders, in particular in Ireland,
- and other separation issues, like Euratom and the treatment of goods placed on the market before Brexit day.
We have published nine EU position papers so far on the different issues.
The EU positions are clear.
We now need to know the UK’s position on each of these issues in order to make progress.
We need to know on which points we agree, and on which points we disagree, so that we can negotiate in earnest.
My aim is to make good progress next week and at our next session in August on all issues.
We cannot remain idle as the clock is ticking (…)
A final point: I have always made it clear that we want to listen to the different points of view in the British debate. It is only natural.
Later today, I will meet a delegation from the House of Lords to answer their questions. The delegation will be led by Lord Teverson of the EU Select Committee.
Tomorrow, I will meet, at their request, with Jeremy Corbyn, and also with the First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon and the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones.
Of course, I will only negotiate with the UK government.