First round of negotiations begin
Brexit negotiations begin despite Theresa May facing growing revolt over 'Hard Brexit' plans
The EU’s chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, has pencilled in 19 June for the first formal day of talks with Britain about its withdrawal from the European Union, in what are being billed as the most important negotiations in the country’s history.
That highly symbolic morning, Barnier will face whoever is the British Brexit secretary after the election for the first day of an arduous 15 months of negotiations to hammer out the terms of the UK’s exit.
It is understood that the European commission’s Brexit taskforce, led by Barnier, shared the proposed date with key figures in Brussels last week.
EU officials are yet to discuss any logistics with the UK, however, due to an ongoing row with Theresa May’s government over its blocking of a mid-term review of the union’s budget.
Brussels cancelled plans for behind-the-scenes “pre-talk talks” to discuss how the negotiations could be handled in anger last month when Britain vetoed the shuffling of the EU budget to priority areas, such as the migration crisis.
The British government claimed pre-election purdah rules blocked any key decisions being made before the general election on 8 June, enraging the commission, whose plans are now stalled.