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EU's Barnier expects first Brexit talks in week starting June 19

Postcards showing the British Union flag, also known as Union Jack, sit on display at a souvenir store near to the Elizabeth Tower, also known as 'Big Ben', in London, U.K.
Luke MacGregor | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Postcards showing the British Union flag, also known as Union Jack, sit on display at a souvenir store near to the Elizabeth Tower, also known as 'Big Ben', in London, U.K.

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said on Monday he expected the first talks with London on the terms of Britain's withdrawal from the EU to take place in the week starting Monday, June 19.

Speaking to reporters, Barnier said he did not want to think about the talks collapsing and that the sooner the key issues related to the withdrawal were agreed, the sooner both sides could move to discussing the terms of a future trade deal.

He reiterated the rights of citizens and a financial settlement between Britain and the EU had to be dealt with first.

"We will need to make sufficient progress on this first phase if we are to move to phase two as quickly as we can at the end of this year and the beginning of next as we negotiate the future relationship between the EU and the UK," he said.