Barnier Says UK Risks Crashing Out of EU If More Time Wasted

14 Juin, 2017, 12:11 | Author: Claudine Rigal

Winterstein said the commission was "quite confident" that so-called technical talks to pave the way for the Barnier-Davis negotiations could begin as early as this week.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has warned London not to waste time, as Brussels waits for embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May to name a date for talks.

The European Union's negotiating team is ready for Britain's exit talks and hopes the agreed timetable, which has a start date of June 19, can hold, a top EU official said.

"My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex", Barnier told the newspapers.

"My permanent secretary is actually in Brussels today talking to them about the details".

"We are fully prepared and ready for negotiations to start", commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein told reporters.

"When will be the point from moving to talking about talks to more detailed discussions, I can not say, it doesn't depend entirely on us", he added. Truth on what Brexit means, what leaving the European Union signifies by its consequences.

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Nevertheless, "Brexit is a decision we have to accept by the British voters", he said.

The Commission's starting position, which is bound to collide with London's expectations once talks get under way, is for the EU executive to keep "monitoring" that rights are respected, and to have the European Court of Justice protect those rights for the lifetime of those citizens.

"Lots of people underestimated these consequences", he said.

The EU's Brexit chief met British officials on Monday to try to hammer out a date for the start of formal talks, as concerns grew that negotiations could be delayed by the fallout from Britain's chaotic election.

On Twitter, the European Parliament's lead negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, said: "We are impatiently waiting for the negotiating position of the United Kingdom gov".

Former Tory leader William Hague is among those suggesting the setting up of a cross-party commission to seek agreement, and Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said the economy must be at the forefront of the UK's demands.

Barnier's interview will heap yet more pressure on May, who called a snap general election to give her a stronger hand at the Brexit negotiating table.

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