James Forsyth

The real significance of Theresa May’s meeting with Donald Tusk

The real significance of Theresa May's meeting with Donald Tusk
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The Seven: The Lives and Legacies of the Founding Fathers of the Irish Republic

Ruth Dudley Edwards

Oneworld Publications, pp. 416, £

Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council, has been in Downing Street this afternoon meeting with Theresa May. The official readout of their talk is much as you would expect. Warm words about the hopes for a ‘deep and special partnership’, an attempt to calm things down over Gibraltar but nothing major as the EU 27 have yet to agree their negotiating position.

But the real significance of this meeting is that it is meant to be one of a series between May and Tusk as the negotiations continue. This shows that the European Council—which represents the member states—wants to keep the Commission on a close rein during these talks. The May/ Tusk dialogue also creates a forum for breaking any logjams that might develop during the formal negotiations.

In short, Tusk’s visit is another sign of the constructive start that the Brexit negotiations have got off to.