Britain won't accept EU's "obsession" with ECJ in Brexit talks- minister

"The deal we reach will need independent and impartial enforcement", Davis said in a statement in response to the approval of the negotiating directives.

Britain's Brexit Secretary David Davis said at the weekend that Prime Minister Theresa May's government was ready to walk out without a deal.

"We want to move to a situation where all the commitments taken by the UK will be honored, as will ours with the UK", Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, told reporters in Brussels on Monday after a meeting of the remaining 27 national governments.

These crucial, if technical, steps taken Monday by the General Affairs Council - a body that has acted mostly as a forum to prepare the ground for European Union leaders' summits - mean that the European Union has now cleared all of the bureaucratic hurdles needed to open formal talks.

Formal Brexit negotiations are expected to begin on June 19, within weeks of the general election.

"We are very well prepared for these negotiations and the remarkable thing is that we are unified at 27", said Malta's Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech during a press conference after the vote. "There will be no time to waste and no time for a new government to find its way", she said in a speech in Wales.

An EU source told the agency that EU officials are planning to begin talks on Brexit on June 19. "We make it clear that we would look at those both rights and obligations".

"All 27 of us today have confirmed the position we're going to defend", Barnier said. These are the rights of European Union citizens in Britain and British citizens on the continent; London's exit bill; and arrangements for the border between Ireland and the British province of Northern Ireland. "There may be some who want it to fail", Davis said. Barnier said that was "not my option" and he did not want to think about such an outcome, which European Union officials say would create a chaotic legal limbo.

If that timetable holds, the European Union would be ready to start discussing the shape of its future trade relationship with Britain and a transition period leading to it between December 2017 and spring 2018, Barnier said, according to minutes of the commissioners' weekly college meeting on May 3.

He warned that Britain could in doing so also harm prospects for a trade deal, saying: "No one should forget the perspective of the new partnership". The deal we seek will be negotiated by me or Jeremy Corbyn. A tight two-year countdown to departure on March 30, 2019, has been made slightly tighter by May calling the election last month in a bid to strengthen her hand in the talks.

  • Zachary Reyes