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Official talks on Brexit to start Monday

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-16 08:54

Official talks on Brexit to start Monday

European Union Chief Negotiator for Brexit Michel Barnier looks on during a news conference after a European General Affairs Ministers meeting in Brussels, Belgium May 22, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - Talks on Britain's exit from the European Union will start next Monday, it was announced Thursday.

The British government's Office for Exiting the EU confirmed the date in an official announcement from London.

Meanwhile, a joint statement issued in London and Brussels said: "The first round of talks that will see Britain leave the European Union will start on Monday June 19."

"Following discussions in Brussels today, both sides agreed that the formal negotiations under the Article 50 process can now start."

In the joint statement issued Thursday, officials said: "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."

The discussions about Britain's new relationship with the EU are expected to last for two years.

Prime Minister Theresa May had announced that Britain would be prepared to leave Europe without a deal if necessary, with her now famous message "no deal is better than a bad deal".

But following the general election last week, when May lost her overall majority in the House of Commons, there have been growing calls for a softer Brexit.

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