BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Council President Donald Tusk, who will oversee EU negotiations on Britain’s withdrawal, warned on Friday that London faces a firm deadline to complete talks and that delays in starting them raise the risk of failing to reach a deal.
“We don’t know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end,” Tusk tweeted after the loss of her majority in a snap election put in doubt whether British Prime Minister Theresa May will be able to start Brexit negotiations as planned on June 19.
“Do your best to avoid a ‘no deal’ as result of ‘no negotiations’.”
In March, May bound Britain to leaving the EU, with or without a deal to settle legal uncertainties for people and businesses, on March 30, 2019. EU officials say time is very tight to negotiate such a divorce and have been concerned at May’s threats to prefer “no deal” to a “bad deal”. Such an outcome would be damaging to both sides, EU officials say.
Reporting by Alastair Macdonald; @macdonaldrtr; editing by Philip Blenkinsop