General Election 2017: European Council President Donald Tusk warns over Brexit "no deal"

 
Shruti Tripathi Chopra
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Brexit talks are expected to begin on 19 June (Source: Getty)

EU leaders today issued a stark warning over delaying Brexit talks following the shock election results.

European Council President Donald Tusk reminded Britain to focus on negotiations to avoid a Brexit "no deal".

He tweeted: "We don't know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end. Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations"."

Meanwhile, EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier said that Brexit negotiations should start when the "UK is ready".

He said: "Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let's put our minds together on striking a deal."

Barnier 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.

Meanwhile, Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian premier who is the European Parliament's point man for the Brexit process, said: "Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex negotiations even more complicated."

Read more: Election results: Bye bye hard Brexit?

Guenther Oettinger, the German member of the European Commission, expressed disappointment over the lack of clarity over Brexit negotiations.

"We need a government that can act," Oettinger told the Deutschlandfunk radio station. "With a weak negotiating partner, there's the danger that the negotiations will turn out badly."

However, French prime minister Edouard Philippe said the election will not change Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

"The British have spoken, they have voted, and have given the Conservative party a majority, albeit a simple majority, which is something of a surprise," Philippe told Europe 1 radio.

But he added: "I don't think we should read these results as calling into question the stance on Brexit which was clearly expressed by the British people."

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