REAL Brexit talks between the European Union and Britain will only start after the general election.
That was the message from Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the EU Commission, to Theresa May during a phone conversation between the pair following her call for an early return to the polls.
“Following their conversation, the president considers that the real political negotiations on Article 50 with the United Kingdom will start after the elections foreseen for the 8th of June,” said a commission spokesman, referring to EU treaty rule that regulates the exit of a member state from the bloc.
This runs contrary to the remarks earlier this week in response to the news of a snap general election by a spokesperson for the Prime Minister, who said that the two-year talks with Brussels would continue without delay.
Juncker is set to visit London next Wednesday following an invitation by May to discuss the the article 50 negotiations.
Brexit talks must conclude by 29 March 2019 according to the rules of Article 50, which allow for a two-year negotiating period.
EU officials had previously said talks could start in late May once a detailed negotiating plan had been agreed by the EU’s 27 other members.