December 15, 2017 / 8:37 AM / a year ago

EU leaders to give mandate for next phase of Brexit talks: Lithuanian president

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite arrives to attend the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Eric Vidal

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders will agree on Friday to move forward with Britain’s exit negotiations to prepare a future trade deal, Lithuanian president Dalia Grybauskaite said.

“We will give the mandate for preparation for the Commission and ourselves for the negotiations for the future of our relations, that will probably start in March,” she said.

Asked if Britain might agree a trade deal with the European Union going beyond the bloc’s deal with Canada, sometimes described as ‘Canada Plus’, she said: “”We hope to have a lot of pluses for all sides.”

Reporting By Robin Emmott

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