brussels - It is going to be a 'raging race against the clock' in order to establish timely agreements on the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom.
Only ten months remain, writes EU President Donald Tusk in his letter of invitation to the Heads of Government for their summit in Brussels this week.
Heads of government are expected to give the green light for that next phase, now that there is an agreement in principle on the conditions of separation. The British Brexit minister David Davis said earlier that this agreement is not binding, but gave Tuesday to want to put it in legal form as soon as possible.
EU negotiator Michel Barnier said Tuesday that the British should not backtrack. He can present a first version of the exit treaty next month.
On a trade agreement after the British departure in March 2019, the Frenchman said 'no possibility' to see that before that time. Probably the talks will start in January about a transitional period in which EU legislation will continue to apply to the British.