Belgium is to host a mini-summit of the EU members most exposed to the dangers of a no-deal Brexit on Wednesday, just ahead of a full European meeting.
Prime Minister Charles Michel will host leaders or senior officials from northwestern Europe before the EU summit, his spokesman told AFP.
“It’s a coordination meeting for countries which would be directly affected by a hard Brexit, to discuss the concrete consequences,” Frederic Cauderlier said.
The guest list has not been finalised, but the official said it would include Spain and countries with North Sea ports pacing Britain.
France and Germany have been invited but Chancellor Angela Merkel may not attend in person, as she has to address the Bundestag before leaving Berlin for Brussels.
After the pre-summit meeting, the leaders will join colleagues from the rest of the union in hosting Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May at a full EU Brexit summit, also in Brussels.
May is expected to ask for time to postpone Brexit beyond Friday night in order to reach an orderly divorce. The leaders are expected to agree, but any new date may have political conditions attached.