'Hard core' Brexit talks not before end of 2017: Van Rompuy

The UK voted its way out of the EU in a June referendum but the official divorce proceedings cannot begin until Britain starts proceduresTackling the toughest issues of Britain’s exit from the European Union should not happen before the end of 2017, former European Council president Herman Van Rompuy said on Thursday. The UK voted its way out of the EU in a June referendum but the official divorce proceedings cannot begin until Britain starts procedures, through triggering Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she will not begin the formal process before 2017, while Van Rompuy said negotiations on the toughest issues will have to wait until after elections in France and Germany.

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