EU's Brexit negotiator says talks will start day after UK election - and there's no desire for 'no deal'

Michael Barnier says talks will begin day after Brexit

Michel Barnier gave an update on the EU's negotiating strategy today

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The EU's top Brexit negotiator has said talks with Britain will begin on June 9 - the day after the UK's general election.

Michel Barnier made the comment today (May 17) while speaking to lawmakers in Strasbourg.

The schedule outlined by Barnier would give the new government just hours to finalise its negotiating strategy before sitting down with its counterparts from Brussels.

The French politician has assured Britain that the talks will be conducted in a "fair" manner and the EU will be negotiating with Britain, rather than against it.

According to Barnier, there is no desire in Brussels for talks to break down without a deal - a prospect which has sparked alarm among many people on both sides of the English Channel.

However Barnier insists the EU isn't prepared to allow the talks to be conducted in secrecy - a key aim for Theresa May and her own negotiators.

Although Theresa May and her Brexiteers have suggested secrecy is a necessity, Barnier says the EU is keen to ensure full transparency in the forthcoming discussions.