Brussels said it was looking forward to restarting Brexit talks today after Theresa May finally unveiled her proposals for the final deal.
Chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he would study the proposals closely ahead of renewed talks next week – but hinted his red lines were unmoved.
Ireland’s deputy PM Simon Coveney said the EU would now take ‘seriously’ the UK’s proposals.
It remains deeply uncertain whether the controversial plans will be accepted by the EU, which insists its single market must not be undermined.
Chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he would study the proposals closely ahead of renewed talks next week – but hinted his red lines were unmoved
The Brussels negotiator said he was looking forward to restarting Brexit talks today after Theresa May finally unveiled her proposals for the final deal
British ministers have warned a failure to engage with today’s plan will dramatically raise the risks of a catastrophic no deal Brexit.
Even if Brussels were to accept some form of today’s plan, it currently appears unlikely Mrs May has the votes to get it through Parliament.
Mr Barnier tweeted: ‘We will now analyse the Brexit White Paper with Member States and the European Parliament, in light of the European Council guidelines.
The EU offer = an ambitious Free Trade Agreement and effective cooperation on wide range of issues, including a strong security partnership.
‘Looking forward to negotiations with the UK next week.’
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator, said he also welcomed the UK’s proposal for a future association agreement.
He added: ‘We will analyse the White Paper in light of our priorities: citizens’ rights, an operational backstop for Ireland and a deep economic relationship based on the integrity of the union and internal market.’
Mr Coveney said: ‘What you will see from the EU now is a ‘take them seriously on this new position’ and a desire to get the negotiating teams into a room from next Monday afterwards.
‘I don’t think we should go through the white paper and try to undermine it and find inconsistencies in it.’
Ireland’s deputy PM Simon Coveney said the EU would now take ‘seriously’ the UK’s proposals
He added: ‘We think that now the clear negotiation position is the first time in six months there is clarity coming from the British government.
‘That new direction has been a step in the right direction towards a pragmatic, sensible Brexit that allow EU and the UK to trade in a way that works for everyone as opposed to a policy driven by ideology.’
On Tuesday night German Chancellor Angela Merkel gave the first serious reaction from an EU leader to the outlines of the controversial plan – suggesting it was ‘progress’.
At a joint press conference with Mrs May, Mrs Merkel said all EU leaders would respond together to the UK proposal.
She said: ‘We have made progress. It is a good thing we have a proposal on the table.’
But warning the EU27 would respond together, she added: ‘We are looking forward to interesting discussions, but we will also have these discussions inspired by the spirit of friendship and the wish to have good relations in the future.’
Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament’s chief negotiator, said he also welcomed the UK’s proposal for a future association agreement