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Donald Tusk, EU council president, has delivered a sombre response to the UK’s notification of exit today.
Speaking in Brussels, a despondent Mr Tusk said he would begin the process for an “orderly withdrawal” by sharing a series of guidelines with remaining member states on Friday to set out the bloc’s response.
“There is no reason to pretend this is a happy day”, said the former Polish prime minister who said he was “fully confident” of the remaining 27′s unity during the two year exit negotiations.
“There is nothing to win for both sides. In essence, this is about damage control. Our goal is clear – to minimise the cost for EU citizens, businesses and member states . We will do everything in our power and we have all the tools to achieve this goal.”
“As for now, nothing has changed. EU law will continue to apply to and within the UK”, he said.
“We already miss you. Thank you and goodbye.”
(You can see the video of his statement here.)