December 15, 2017 / 8:36 AM / 4 months ago

Second phase of Brexit talks will be harder than first: EU's Juncker

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The second phase Brexit negotiations will be significantly harder than an already difficult first phase of talks, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker speaks during a news conference at the closing session of the 5th African Union - European Union (AU-EU) summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast November 30, 2017. REUTERS/Luc Gnago/Files

The leaders of the 27 countries remaining in the European Union will give the go-ahead on Friday for the EU’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier to begin talks with London on a transition period and future trade ties with Britain.

“I have extraordinary faith in the British Prime Minister. She has agreed with me and Mr Barnier that the withdrawal agreement will first be formalised and will be voted on and then we will see. The second phase will be significantly harder than the first and the first was very difficult,” Juncker told reporters on arriving for the second day of the EU summit.

Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop

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