End uncertainty over Brexit, EU now tells UK

Strasbourg, Tuesday Britain must quickly end the “uncertainty” over Brexit talks caused by a chaotic election result, the European Parliam...

European Parliament’s Brexit pointman, Guy Verhofstadt. He has asked the UK to give their negotiating position. Photo/AFP

Strasbourg, Tuesday

Britain must quickly end the “uncertainty” over Brexit talks caused by a chaotic election result, the European Parliament’s Brexit pointman, Guy Verhofstadt said.

The former Belgian premier also urged embattled Prime Minister Theresa May to back away from a “hard Brexit” following her disastrous poll showing last week. “We are impatiently waiting for the negotiating position of the UK government.

The current uncertainty cannot continue,” Verhofstadt said on Twitter. Brexit negotiations had been due to start next Monday, but that timetable has been thrown into doubt by May’s disastrous loss of a parliamentary majority last Thursday.

Verhofstadt is the official Brexit negotiator for the European Parliament, which will have the final say on any deal on future relations after Britain leaves the EU in 2019.

Verhofstadt said Britain must urgently either confirm the positions she outlined in its March 29 letter triggering the two-year Brexit process, “or they open the game in another direction, that’s their responsibility.”

“In my humble opinion, I think that one of the elements of the outcome of the election was certainly not a support of the hard Brexit,” he told reporters at the parliament in Strasbourg, France.

Verhofstadt complained that recent years of uncertainty over Britain’s place in the EU had “paralysed the union itself” and stopped it reforming. His comments come after the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier, warned London to “not waste time” and begin negotiations as soon as possible.

In an interview with a group of European newspapers, Barnier lamented that it was already three months since May had formally triggered the two-year process of Britain leaving the European Union.

“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... I can’t negotiate with myself,” Barnier was quoted as saying by the Financial Times.

“It will take us several months to draw out the conditions of an orderly withdrawal . . . so let’s not waste time,” he said. Formal negotiations between Barnier and British Brexit minister David Davis had been due to start next week but that timetable has been thrown into doubt by May’s catastrophic loss of a majority in last Thursday’s election. She is now seeking an alliance with a hardline unionist party in Northern Ireland to cling on to power.

May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result and on Monday faced her MPs and vowed to govern. “I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out,” she told her Conservative MPs. -AFP

The post End uncertainty over Brexit, EU now tells UK appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.



from WORLD – Mediamax Network Limited http://bit.ly/2sZuGoQ
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