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Brexit negotiations to start formally on June 19

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Brussels [Belgium] | May 19, 2017 12:01:13 AM IST
 
June 19 is the first formal day of talks between Britain and the European Union (EU) about its withdrawal from the bloc.

The EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has decided the date, reports the Guardian.

On the day of formal talks, Barnier will face British Brexit secretary David Davis, for the first day of an arduous 15 months of negotiations to lay out the terms of the United Kingdom's exit.

According to the report, it is understood that the European commission's Brexit taskforce, led by Barnier, shared the proposed date with key figures in Brussels last week.

The EU officials are yet to discuss any logistics with the U.K., however, due to an ongoing row with Theresa May's Government over its blocking of a mid-term review of the bloc's budget.

Plans for pre-talk discussion over how the negotiations could be handled were cancelled by a furious Brussels last month when Britain vetoed the shuffling of the EU budget to priority areas, such as the migration crisis.

The British Government claimed purdah rules, blocking key decisions being made imminent of the general election on June 8, enraging the commission which saw this as an obstacle to its agreement to budgetary changes.

The EU wants negotiations to be divided into four-week cycles, each focussed on a key issue. Week one would involve political preparation, followed by a week where documents would be disclosed by both sides.

The third week would see Barnier and Davis sitting down to talk, mainly in Brussels but also, potentially, in London. In the final week, Barnier would report on the results of the negotiations to the 27 member states and the European parliament.

The EU's negotiator wants to reach to an agreement on citizens' rights, the U.K.'s divorce bill and on the border of Ireland in a first phase of talks he hopes will be concluded by the end of 2017.

British Prime Minister Theresa May formally notified the European council of the U.K.'s decision to leave the EU on March 29 this year, some nine months after last June's referendum. (ANI)

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