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Brexit talks will begin on Monday despite Britain's political chaos

Brexit talks will begin on Monday despite Britain's political chaos

France's Macron said the EU's door was still open for Britain as long as the negotiations were not finished, but that it would be hard to reverse course.

"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, June 19", read the joint statement issued by the European Commission and Britain's Department for Exiting the European Union.

It had been suggested the start of negotiations could be delayed by the failure of any party to win a House of Commons majority at last week's General Election.

Following talks yesterday in London on DUP support for the conservatives, both sides are upbeat about negotiations so far.

Pressed on reports of secret talks between Cabinet ministers and Labour MPs, Mr Gove said the two parties had a "similar" position on Brexit and the reality of the hung parliament meant the Government would have to "work with everyone".

The UK Prime Minister Theresa May is likely to be pressurised to soften their stance to Brexit after losing her parliamentary majority in the previous week.

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said: "The Conservatives can not go from weak and wobbly to business as usual in three days".

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Davis told BBC radio on Monday that the government stood by its threat to "walk away" with no deal if talks - when they do eventually start - break down.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called for a cross-party committee to be set up to handle the Brexit negotiations. "It is the only way to unite the country and strengthen our bargaining power with the European Union".

Former Belgian prime minister Mr Verhofstadt said on Twitter that Brexit "isn't just about the Tories leaving the European Union, it's about the whole UK" adding: "Everyone's voice should be heard".

John Major, another former Tory prime minister, urged Ms May to "negotiate a better deal on free movement" and on the European Union single market, saying: "A hard Brexit was not endorsed by the electorate".

"As we enter negotiations next week we will do so in a spirit of honest cooperation, taking a pragmatic approach to trying to find a solution that works both for the United Kingdom and European Union 27".

Mrs May was in France for talks with the French President.


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