The European Union’s Michel Barnier has warned there is a risk of the UK crashing out of the EU in 2019 if more time is “wasted” ahead of the Brexit talks.
In an interview with the Financial Times and a group of European newspapers, Barnier says it is crucial the UK appoints a negotiating team that is “stable, accountable and with a mandate.”
Barnier, who is the EU’s chief negotiator on Brexit, says: “Next week, it will be three months after the sending of the Article 50 letter.
“We haven’t negotiated, we haven’t progressed. Thus we must begin this negotiation. We are ready as soon as the UK itself is ready.”
He adds: “My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex. I can’t negotiate with myself.
“It will take us several months to draw out the conditions of an orderly withdrawal … so let’s not waste time.”