Davis warns Britain will quit talks if European Union demands ?100bn

Theresa May Meets EU President Jean Claude Juncker

Ministers from the 27 other European Union states met in Brussels to sign off on a common strategy and mandate the European Union executive, in the form of chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, to launch talks on their behalf after Britain's June 8 election.

(AP Photo/Virginia Mayo). French Minister for European Affairs Marielle de Sarnez waits for the start of a round table meeting of general affairs ministers in Brussels on Monday, May 22, 2017.

"We are ready and well prepared".

The negotiating directives prevent Barnier from opening any talks on the free trade deal which May wants until EU leaders decide "significant progress" has been made on a deal to settle key issues in the divorce - notably citizens' rights, British budget payments to the EU and the EU-UK land border on Ireland.

Brexit Secretary David Davis said: "The EU wants to start negotiating just 11 days after the General Election on June 8".

Michel Barnier, the EU's Brexit negotiator, said he hoped to begin the first round of talks in the week of 19 June, while playing down suggestions negotiations could collapse.

"They will be tough".

Asked a second time what he would do if the British walked out of the talks, Mr Barnier said there would be moments of tension but things had to be put in perspective. "That is not my choice and I would advise anyone to explain exactly what no deal would entail", he said.

Mr Davis also said the negotiations, which are expected to begin on June 19th, will be "fairly turbulent" and that he would reject any blueprint for discussions that requires the issues of the divorce bill, European Union citizens' rights and Northern Ireland's border to be solved before talks can begin on future trade. "It is their choice and responsibility".

Outstanding Brexit issues include the U.K.'s future access to the single market, the free movement of British and European Union citizens plus the future of the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. The British government wants a future trade relationship and the divorce proceedings to happen at the same time.

May's Conservative Party stated in their election manifesto that they would be willing to walk away without a deal if an agreement meant a bad deal for Britain.

"We are under no illusion that negotiations will be complex and far from straight forward", admitted Malta's deputy prime minister, Louis Grech, whose country holds the Council of the EU's rotating presidency.

The EU will be conducting step-by-step negotiations with London spread over phases, including a second phase that will determine its relationship with the United Kingdom, after it becomes a non-EU country.

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