Speaking ahead of a European summit in Brussels today and tomorrow, Donald Tusk, said: “When the UK notifies, it is our goal to react with the draft negotiation guidelines for the 27 member states to consider.
“For this I think we need more or less 48 hours.”
Theresa May is expected to trigger Article 50, setting off two years of Brexit negotiations, on around March 15.
Donald Tusk has said the EU would be able to send a draft negotiation back in 48 hours
We will react with the draft negotiation guidelines for the 27 member states to consider in more or less 48 hours
Mr Tusk said EU leaders would then meet, probably in April, to finalise the draft.
He added: “Negotiating the political and technical hurdles of Brexit will be our daily challenge.
“We are well prepared and our reaction after formal notification will be fast and responsible.
“But as for now we are still waiting for the UK to trigger.”
The House of Lords has frustrated the Brexit process by voting for amendments
His hasty timeline is likely to set alarm bells ringing in Westminster where MPs are highly aware of the fragility of negotiations and the fact some EU bosses may want to punish Britain for leaving the bloc.
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The House of Lords has caused further headaches for Prime Minister Theresa May this week by voting to amend the Article 50 Bill for a second time.
Fears have also been raised over the EU fighting a hard negotiation as it will lose up to a fifth of its budget when Britain leaves, a new report has revealed.
Peers voted on Tuesday in favour of an amendment which would give Parliament a meaningful vote on the final Brexit deal, and could delay Article 50 being triggered in the first place.
Last week they saddled the Bill with a further amendment over the rights of EU nationals living in the UK.
An EPC report found Britain funds up to a fifth of the EU budget
Jovial relations between Mrs May and Mr Tusk last summer may turn soon
The unelected chamber is facing calls to be abolished entirely by Brexiteers and those supporting the democratic process as the Government is expected to fight off the amendment during discussions next week.
Ahead of the second Lords vote Mrs May warned peers they risked giving the EU the upper hand during Brexit talks by meddling with the Article 50 Bill.
Images from inside the House of Lords: Peers have voted to guarantee EU citizens' rights Wed, March 1, 2017
The House of Lords voted overwhelmingly in favour of an amendment to the Prime Minister’s proposed Brexit legislation
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A packed House of Lords, London, as the Government is facing possible defeat in the House of Lords as peers push for guarantees over the rights of EU nationals living in the UK after Brexit
She told peers on Monday their request for a “meaningful vote”, which is likely to include a provision for Parliament to be able to demand a second Brexit referendum, could harm the UK’s strength in divorce talks.
However, they decided to ignore her warning and a majority voted for the amendment.
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Yesterday leading think-tank the European Policy Centre (EPC) published a report which concluded Britain’s budget contributions have ballooned at an unprecedented speed and are now more than 50 times greater than they were when the country joined the bloc in 1973, making up to a fifth of the entire EU budget.
Experts warned both eurocrats and the 27 remaining countries they could face seriously painful decisions about how to make up for the shortfall from 2019 onwards when Britain is expected to leave the bloc.
The report warned: “Brexit means Brexit and budget cuts mean budget cuts.”
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