European parliament aims for general deal on future ties with Britain in 2 years

Guy Verhofstadt, European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, sits for an interview with Reuters in New York, U.S., January 23, 2017 while promoting his book "Europe's Last Chance". REUTERS/Daniel Bases

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The two-year Brexit negotiations should produce a divorce deal as well as an “agreement on general terms” of the future relationship between the EU of 27 and London, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator said on Wednesday.

While a detailed trade agreement between Britain and the EU would not be possible in such a short time, a “general framework”, giving an idea of what a more detailed deal could look like, was something the EU would pursue, he said.

“What is needed in the framework of these two years is the withdrawal agreement plus also an agreement on the general terms of the future relationship,” the parliament’s chief Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt told a news conference.

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska