Brexit: UK and European Union negotiations to start on Monday

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, echoing remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, said the door to Europe remained open to Britain, and it was up to the British people whether they wanted to change their minds about leaving the EU.

The announcement followed speculation they may have to be delayed after last week's General Election result, which saw Theresa May lose her House of Commons majority.

Brexit Secretary David Davis and the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier agreed during discussions in Brussels on Thursday to start formal talks over the UK's departure on 19 June.

The Queen's Speech, a formal ceremony during which the queen reads out the government's plans for the new legislation term, will be held Wednesday.

While Theresa May's decision to hold a snap election initially frustrated European Union officials, the aim for a clear mandate to negotiate Brexit was appreciated.

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said: "The Conservatives can not go from weak and wobbly to business as usual in three days".

The Prime Minister triggered Article 50, the legal process for leaving the European Union, on 29 March.

The European Parliament, which named former Belgian prime minister Verhofstadt as its Brexit pointman past year, will have the final say on any deal on Britain's exit from the EU.

The future rights of United Kingdom citizens in the European Union and EU citizens in the United Kingdom - and provisions for the Irish border after Brexit - are among the issues which the European Union wants to resolve before beginning trade talks.

Talks for a new relationship between London and Brussels will start on June 19.

Mr Barnier is due to report back to leaders of the other EU states on Thursday to review progress ahead of a two-day summit of the European Council attended by Theresa May which starts later that day.

"Theresa May must immediately create a cross-party joint cabinet committee to negotiate Brexit".

  • Leroy Wright