Theresa May's stance might 'delay' EU-Brexit talks by a year

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London [UK], June. 13 (ANI): British Prime Minister Theresa May has been conveyed that if she insists on discussing a future trade relationship at the same time as Brexit, then the European Union will take a year to draft a new mandate for its chief negotiator, Michel Barnier, which will effectively kill the negotiations. Senior EU sources have told the Guardian that if London was firm on talking about a free trade deal before the issues of its divorce bill, citizens rights and the border in Ireland were resolved, then it would be met with a blunt response. "If they don't accept the phased negotiations then we will take a year to draw up a new set of negotiating guidelines for Barnier," one senior EU diplomat said, adding that the EU could not understand Britain's continued claim that it would be able to discuss trade and the divorce terms in parallel. Formal Brexit talks are due to begin on 19 June, which is the same day as the Queen's speech, at which point it will be known if May has secured the support of a majority of MPs for her policy agenda. Meanwhile, EU figures are also looking on with cynicism as May struggles to form an alliance with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionists to strengthen her government. (ANI)