Statement after the informal meeting of the 27 heads of state or government, 15 December 2016
EU News 412/2016
Brussels, 15 December 2016
We, the Heads of State or Government of 27 Member States, as well as the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission, determined to see the Union succeed, stand ready to start negotiations with the UK as soon as the UK has notified under article 50. We welcome the intention of the UK to do so before the end of March 2017, so that we can begin to tackle the uncertainties arising from the prospect of the UK's withdrawal.
We stand firmly behind our statement of 29 June 2016 in its entirety and will continue to adhere to the principles laid down therein. We reiterate that any agreement will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations, and that access to the Single Market requires acceptance of all four freedoms.
We intend to conduct the withdrawal negotiations in a spirit of trust and unity among us. To this end, we endorse the procedural arrangements set out in annex for these negotiations.
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