European Union, European Commission release joint statement confirming Brexit talks to begin on 19 June

Brussels: The European Union (EU) and the European Commission (EC) said in a joint statement that they have set a date to begin Brexit talks with the United Kingdom.

The statement released on Thursday said the EU and the UK are set to begin negotiations on Article 50, which was triggered on 29 March, and sets out the procedure for withdrawing from the 27-member bloc, reports Efe News.

"Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday, 19 June," the statement said.

British Prime Minister Theresa May. AP

File image of British prime minister Theresa May. AP

The negotiations are scheduled to last approximately 18 months, from June 2017 to November 2018, a short period of time given the number of subjects that will need to be covered as the UK breaks free of the EU.

UK prime minister Theresa May had hoped to enter negotiations with a strong bargaining hand, but the recent snap general elections have left her without a majority in Parliament and mired in talks between her Conservative Party and the minor Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland in a bid to achieve a ruling pact.

May gambled that a strong election win, as forecast by some pollsters, would boost her majority in the House of Commons in time for the Brexit talks, but instead, her party surrendered 13 seats in the lower chamber.

Among topics that need to be agreed upon is the status of UK citizens living and working in the EU, as well as that of European nationals doing the same in Britain.

Also, the size and scope of the "divorce" settlement must be decided, the statement added.

Updated Date: Jun 16, 2017 11:16 AM

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