Department for International Trade
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PM meeting with Donald Tusk: 8 September 2016

Theresa May held her first formal bilateral meeting with European Council President Donald Tusk to discuss the UK's withdrawal from the EU.

A Downing Street spokesperson said:

The Prime Minister hosted European Council President Donald Tusk yesterday for their first formal bilateral meeting to discuss preparations for the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union and plans for the October European Council.

The Prime Minister said it would be important to work together to make sure the process is as smooth as possible. She said the UK would take time to prepare for the negotiations, reiterating that Article 50 will not be triggered before the end of the year.

The Prime Minister reassured Mr Tusk that while the UK remains a member of the EU, we will continue to be a strong player and a strong voice in the organisation.

They discussed the issues on the agenda at the October European Council meeting, including Russia and the situation in eastern Ukraine. The Prime Minister was clear that the UK would continue to insist that the lifting of sanctions must remain linked to the full implementation of the Minsk Agreement.

On free trade, the Prime Minister said that the UK would continue to be a strong voice and would continue to support EU trade agreements with other countries in order to deliver a global economy that works for all.

Discussions also touched on tackling the migration crisis in the context of the EU-Turkey deal and on the importance of ratifying the Paris climate change agreement as soon as possible.

Finally, the Prime Minister raised the attacks against Polish people in the UK in recent weeks and underlined that the UK is a tolerant country and that our values will not change with the UK leaving the EU. She also set out the work we are taking forward on hate crime.

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