Theresa May tells EU's Juncker that Britain needs time to prepare for Brexit talks

Theresa May arrives at 10 Downing Street, in central London, on July 14, 2016.
Theresa May arrives at 10 Downing Street, in central London, on July 14, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain hopes to hold positive talks with the European Union over its divorce from the bloc but needs time to prepare, new Prime Minister Theresa May told EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday (July 14), her spokeswoman said.

May, appointed prime minister on Wednesday, faces the difficult task of negotiating Britain's exit from the EU after a June 23 public vote to leave.

"The Prime Minister explained that we would need some time to prepare for the negotiations," the spokeswoman said, adding that May had told Juncker of her hope for a "constructive and positive" tone to the talks.


May also backed the nomination of Julian King as Britain's new EU commissioner, made last week by her predecessor David Cameron, the spokeswoman said.

The new British leader also spoke to US President Barack Obama on Thursday, underlining Britain's commitment to sustaining the countries' special relationship and key partnership on intelligence sharing.

"They talked about the importance of the special relationship and the importance of sustaining that," the spokeswoman said.

"The Prime Minister underlined the ongoing commitment of the United Kingdom to be a key partner to the US on global issues including counter-terrorism and security."