Britain, EU to begin Brexit negotiations on Monday: Official

The first round of talks will begin on June 19.
The first round of talks will begin on June 19.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) – Negotiations on Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union will begin between British and EU officials on Monday, the British government said in a statement. 

“The first round of talks that will see the United Kingdom leave the European Union will start on Monday June 19,” the Department for Exiting the European Union ministry said on Thursday (June 15). 

The announcement was agreed on Thursday between Brexit minister David Davis and the European Commission’s chief negotiator Michel Barnier, the ministry said. 

Britain voted by 52 per cent in favour of leaving the European Union in a referendum last year.  Prime Minister Theresa May in March formally notified the EU of its intention to leave, starting a two-year timetable for negotiating the exit.  Britain will be the first member state ever to leave the bloc. 

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Negotiations had been expected to begin next week but May’s loss of her parliamentary majority in a general election last week raised doubts about the date.  She has since said the timetable will remain unchanged but there is growing pressure on her to moderate the government’s approach and favour maintaining close ties with the European single market.