The top Brexit negotiator for the European Union has slapped an 18-month time limit on deal talks with the United Kingdom.
Speaking in Brussels, Michel Barnier said with all process of ratification needed to be complete by March 2019, terms of the deal would need to be resolved by October 2018.
These timescales make the assumption that The United Kingdom triggers the Article 50 process in March next year, as has previously been suggested by U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May.
"It is clear that the period of actual negotiations will be shorter than two years," Barnier said Tuesday, in his first press conference since taking the role as the EU's broker.
Shortly after the press conference ended a spokesperson for the U.K. Prime Minister said the British government did not want to extend negotiations beyond the two-year limit.