BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union leaders meet to finalise guidelines for their Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, who will launch talks with Britain on its withdrawal from the EU in June, after Britain's parliamentary election.
The 27 national leaders will demand London protect the rights of 3 million EU citizens living in Britain and settle tens of billions of euros worth of financial obligations they say Britain owes them as a member.
The following are comments from national leaders and senior EU officials before their meeting on Saturday.
LUXEMBOURG PRIME MINISTER XAVIER BETTEL
"It's not a trial, the United Kingdom against the United Europe. It's a discussion, not a court case. We should find bridges we can build between both of us. They are maybe not any more in our family, but they are still our neighbours so we should have respect for each other, but a level playing field and not cherry picking."
EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT BREXIT COORDINATOR GUY VERHOFSTADT
"There is unanimity between the 27 and unanimity with the three institutions."
"(The British election) delays it a little bit but it doesn't change the position in the negotiations, the mandate of the EU and the outcome of the UK election."
(Reporting by Philip Blenkinsop, Jan Strupczewski and Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Janet Lawrence)