Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Brexit talks can start 'when United Kingdom is ready', says European Union chief negotiator

Brexit talks can start 'when United Kingdom is ready', says European Union chief negotiator Brexit talks can start 'when United Kingdom is ready', says European Union chief negotiator
Preston Stone | 13 June, 2017, 04:17

"We know when they must end", said Mr Tusk.

He said: "the timeframe set by Article 50 of the Treaty leaves us with no time to lose", he added, referring to a deadline of March 2019 when Britain will no longer be a member of the bloc, whether or not a deal is reached to avoid legal uncertainties.

"We have a programme, we have support and we're ready to fight another election campaign as soon as may be, because we want to be able to serve the people of this country on the agenda we put forward, which is transformative and has gained awesome levels of support", he added.

Other European political actors have also been commenting. "I am fully committed to maintaining regular and close contact at our level to facilitate the work of our negotiators".

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker said last Friday that Brussels would be ready "at half past nine" the next morning if Britain was ready.

Angela Merkel has said Brexit negotiations should go ahead as scheduled in nine days' time - despite the United Kingdom being plunged into political turmoil by the General Election.

Following a hung parliament in the snap election she called, Mrs May has said she plans to form a minority government to deliver Brexit and will take part in the negotiations on 19 June.

"We know when they must end", tweeted Donald Tusk, the European Union summit chair overseeing negotiations that the European Union had planned to start on June 19.

He said: "Brexit negotiations should start when United Kingdom is ready; timetable and European Union positions are clear".

Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian Prime Minister and now the leader of the European Parliamentary group of liberals and democrats, described the general election result as "yet another own goal" for the UK. "With a weak negotiating partner, there's the danger that the negotiations will turn out badly". "What the new set-up means for #Brexit we will have to wait and see", Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a tweet. "It has an effect on tariff negotiations, on contract negotiations in business and in politics".

"The results of the United Kingdom election indicate to me that there is no strong mandate to proceed with a hard Brexit, which represents an opportunity for Ireland".

He urged the Government to "reconsider whether it's really good for Great Britain to withdraw from the European Union in this way".

"The British have spoken, they have voted, and have given the Conservative party a majority, albeit a simple majority, which is something of a surprise", French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told Europe 1 radio.

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