EU sees Brexit talks delay after vote shock

Brussels had set June 19 as the start date for talks, but a series of key figures said that was now in doubt after Prime Minister Theresa May's gamble to increase her majority failed.

EU sees Brexit talks delay after vote shock

World Bulletin / News Desk

The European Union warned Friday that Brexit negotiations due to start later this month could be held up after Britain's election ended in a hung parliament.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier indicated the remaining 27 members were prepared to be flexible on when the process begins.

"Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let's put our minds together on striking a deal," the Frenchman said on Twitter.

Barnier had previously set a timetable of talks starting in the week beginning June 19, with agreement on initial issues by autumn of this year and a provisional Brexit deal in October 2018.

Britain is set to leave the EU at the end of March 2019 after May triggered the formal two-year divorce process on March 29 of this year.

But EU budget commissioner Guenther Oettinger said May was now likely to be a "weak" partner, when what the EU wants is a leader strong enough at home to reach a deal.

"The British need to negotiate their exit but with a weak negotiating partner, there is a danger that the talks are bad for both parties," Oettinger told German radio.

Oettinger, who is Germany's EU commissioner, added that the EU "stands ready" for Brexit talks, "but the next few hours or days will indicate if the other negotiating party can even begin talks because without a government, there can be no negotiations."

May had called the snap election in an attempt to extend her majority and strengthen her position in Brexit negotiations, but it backfired spectacularly after she failed to win enough seats to form a Conservative government.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 09 Haziran 2017, 11:47