EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said Brexit negotiations should start when the UK is ready

Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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British Prime Minister Greets European Commission President in Downing Street
Michel Barnier wants to begin Brexit negotiations on 19 June (Source: Getty)

The European Union's chief Brexit negotiator has said that negotiations should start when "UK is ready".

Barnier said that talks should begin when the "timetable and EU positions are clear".

The EU boss has set 19 June as the date for the start of talks that are due to last around 14-18 months. However, other EU officials have said that date isn't confirmed and negotiations could be delayed.

Last month, Barnier admitted that Brexit will come at a cost to remaining European member states.

Addressing a joint sitting of the Irish Parliament, he also said that the EU would work to avoid a hard border.

"Brexit will come at a cost. Also to us, the 27," Barnier said.

"I am fully aware that some member states will be more affected than others and so as chief negotiator my objective is to reach a fair deal. A deal that defends the interests of the entire EU, but also those of individual member states."

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