With Belgium and England playing each other at the World Cup on the evening of the summit starting there was a lot of attention about the football game. Perhaps not so coincidental also that the Brexit process is being compared to as a game more and more.
The issue of Brexit was towards the end of the agenda, which showed although it was an important summit for the UK government, especially as it is foreseen to reach a deal by October, the EU clearly has much more pressing matters. The Member States will also not discuss it in detail at this stage without knowing any framework on the most important issues. So once again there weren’t any real developments of what the withdrawal process might look like. The EU highlighted the importance on reaching a ‘backstop’ solution regarding the question of the border of Northern Ireland. This is of course the main issue for the EU and the Republic of Ireland.
Interesting also that the Council conclusions refers to Gibraltor, this reminds the UK again that Spain would have to agree on any deal.
The EU is waiting for the UK White paper to continue negotiations. The deadline is tight. The political declaration which will published with the withdrawal agreement is concerning trade and what the future agreement would look like so understandably the other Member States want this to be resolved quickly, also in light of the present situation.