The first formal Brexit meeting between EU and UK negotiators could take place in the week starting 19th June, according to chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier.
The Council of The European Union has formally authorised the opening of negotiations and adopted a set of negotiating directives.
Barnier said: “I would like to be able to give a first report to the European Council on 22-23 June, exactly one year after the date of the referendum and less than three months after Theresa May’s notification letter.
“I hope to see our British colleagues at the negotiation table as soon as possible. And look forward to work in a positive atmosphere to find common ground.”
The EU-27 negotiating directives prioritise issues that have been identified as necessary for an orderly withdrawal of the UK, including citizens’ rights, the financial settlement and the situation of Ireland, as well as other matters in which there is a risk of legal uncertainty as a consequence of Brexit.
The EU-27 have made it clear that an agreement on a future relationship between the EU and the UK can only be concluded once the UK effectively leaves the EU and becomes a third country. However, discussions on an overall understanding of that future relationship could start during a second phase of the negotiations.