Brexit: EU-UK trade discussions could take years, Michel Barnier warns Theresa May

Brexit: EU-UK trade discussions could take years, warns Michel Barnier after Theresa May's speech

Barnier made the comments in an interview with a French newspaper

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Michel Barnier has warned discussions on trade could take years to complete once the UK departs from the European Union.

In an interview with newspaper Les Echoes in France, the EU’s chief negotiator has said the discussions will be very different from the current first stage of the talks and could entail a series of risks - without specifying for whom.

The remarks came in the wake of a statement by Prime Minister Theresa May in the House of Commons.

The Prime Minister told MPs there couldn’t be a period of transition unless the two sides came to an agreement on a trade deal because they would not know what they were transitioning towards.

Despite this, May insisted she was confident a deal would still be reached with the European Union.

The statement in the House of Commons drew criticism among Labour MPs, who warned the UK was headed straight for a complete break from the EU.