Boris Johnson Slapped Down Over 'Early Brexit' Comments By Prime Minister's Office

Britain should not let its European Union exit talks "drag on", Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said Sunday (Sept 25), though he refused to repeat his previous claim the government would trigger the formal leaving process in early 2017.

European Council President Donald Tusk and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny have both said in recent days that May's government is indicating it could be ready to launch formal negotiations to leave the EU in January or February of 2017.

The findings may provide a boost for Prime Minister Theresa May as she prepares for negotiations to take Britain out of the EU.

Johnson, who campaigned for Leave during the campaign after much deliberation, has teamed up with Brexit secretary David Davis and global trade secretary Liam Fox, who are keen for a "hard Brexit" - taking Britain out the customs union and single market and restrict the free movement of people.

He warned, too, that waiting too long to trigger the two-year process would mean Britain would face European Parliament elections in 2019 at the same time as it was leaving the bloc.

Mrs May said she was looking forward to working with the European Parliament and acknowledged the "understanding" shown by European partners that the Article 50 process would not be triggered before the end of 2016.

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Schulz, who is in Britain for two-day talks on Brexit, was scheduled to meet with London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party.

Her EU peers have repeatedly called on her to move quickly so as to end the uncertainty over Britain's future relations with the bloc.

"In London I will also stress why the European Parliament favours the earliest possible triggering of Article 50, which is a pre-condition to opening negotiations".

Her aides and ministers have told reporters the government will not offer a "running commentary" on the divorce but they are clear any decisions will be taken by May. "A fair deal that allows freedom to trade without unrestricted freedom of movement is the clear best solution, for us, and for them". Brexit does indeed "involve asking ourselves what kind of country we want to be"- as the Prime Minister said.

On the other side, finance minister Philip Hammond is among those reportedly backing a less hardline approach that would retain more ties with the European Union, particularly for the strategically crucial City of London financial hub. "I want skilled and talented people to come to the United Kingdom if they want.to fulfill their dreams in our country".

  • Sonia Alvarado