EU, UK fix date to begin Brexit negotiations

British officials travel to Brussels on Thursday ahead of the start of formal talks on Monday.

Following discussions in Brussels on Thursday, the offices of Brexit Secretary David Davis and the European Commission's chief negotiator Michel Barnier released a joint statement to confirm the date.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May should agree to pay Britain's bills to the European Union and drop threats to walk out without a legal deal if she wants talks on the "softer Brexit" some of her allies are calling for, EU negotiators say.

The government meanwhile said the state opening of the parliament - when May's government presents its legislation programme - will take place on June 21, two days later than planned.

He warned that a deal between the Conservatives and DUP would be in breach.

"The risk is that Northern Ireland continues to fail to find solutions, and potentially the peace process unwinds", he told AFP.

Northern Ireland is now without a government, after a surge in support for Sinn Fein at Northern Irish Assembly elections earlier this year left nationalist parties holding a majority over unionist ones the first time.

Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds is leading the DUP delegation to London as party leader Arlene Foster has returned to Northern Ireland, the spokesman said.

"The danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal, at Westminster, with one of the Northern Ireland parties".

Brexit is another complicating factor in the mix.

During the appearance, Ms O'Neill said: 'We made very clear to the prime minister that any deal between herself and the DUP can not undermine the Good Friday agreement.

And it wants to ensure a soft, trade-friendly border remains between Northern Ireland and the Republic after Brexit - even though customs and other issues will emerge when the United Kingdom leaves the EU.

It's hard to think what Theresa May imagined she would achieve with her snap invitations to Downing Street but then this is prime minister who is becoming increasingly renowned for her poor judgment.

"The prime minister has totally ignored the will of those people in terms of Brexit".

  • Zachary Reyes