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EU leaders prepare life without Britain, mull future ties

Last Updated Feb 22, 2018 at 6:00 am EDT

BRUSSELS – European Union leaders meet without Britain Friday looking to plug a major budget hole after Brexit and endorse a plan to streamline the European Parliament by sharing out the country’s seats.

In an implicit warning to Britain, EU Council President Donald Tusk, who chairs the summit, says he will inform leaders how he plans to draw up the guidelines for future relations with their departing partner.

Britain is set to leave the EU — the first country to exit the world’s biggest trading bloc — in late March 2019. But Brexit talks must be finalized by this fall so parliaments can ratify any withdrawal agreement.

EU leaders have appealed for Britain to explain its vision of their future ties, but few details have emerged.