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‘Imagine’ if Britain stays in EU? Discord at EU summit

Discord over whether the exit process could still be reversed surfaced at the summit in Brussels as British Prime Minister Theresa May was preparing to brief the 27 European Union other leaders on the Brexit negotiations that started this week.Over dinner at the summit, May addressed the issue of citizens’ rights, one of the key three priorities for the opening stage of Brexit negotiations that began on Monday.Britain stunned the European Union when it voted to end its four-decade membership of the 28-nation bloc in a referendum a year ago on Friday.May laid out benchmarks for the rights of 3 million European Union citizens living legally in Britain and how they should be shielded from excessive harm because of the divorce.Mr Tajani said an agreement similar to those enjoyed by Switzerland or Norway was “possible to do”, adding: “It’s possible to decide on this after a negotiation”.Merkel had earlier made clear that Britain’s exit was not at the top of the agenda for the remaining 27 European Union members, as they try to capitalise on a renewed sense of optimism to put the bloc back on track after years of austerity and crisis.”Some of my British friends have asked me whether Brexit could be reversed, and whether I could imagine an outcome where the United Kingdom stays part of the European Union”, Tusk told reporters.”I am not a dreamer and I am not the only one”, Michel told reporters, adding that he was only a “dreamer in my private life”. “And I am not the only one”, Michel said.Calling Brexit “a pity”, Lithuania’s outspoken President Dalia Grybauskaite said: “We need to think about the future and the sooner we settle the future the better for all of us”. “If we back this image that Brexit perhaps would not happen, it brings an uncertainty”.After a string of small-scale terrorist attacks in European capitals this week, the EU leaders also agreed to join efforts seeking to curb online extremism and crack down on Europeans who go overseas to fight jihad.French President Emmanuel Macron and German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble both said last week that the “door was open” for Britain to remain in the EU.Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, left, and European Council President Donald Tusk walk between the EU and Ukrainian flags during arrivals at the Europa building in Brussels on Thursday, June 22, 2017. Agricultural business consultant Simon Ward said that the interim deal could mean Britain would remain within the European Economic Area for up to six years while negotiations took place.