EU Says U.K. Needs a Government Before Brexit Talks Start

By Anton Troianovski Features Dow Jones Newswires

The European Union's budget commissioner said Friday the U.K. would need to form a government before starting Brexit talks with the EU, and warned of new uncertainty in the wake of the U.K. election results.

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"We are ready...We will be tough but fair in our negotiations," Günther Oettinger, a German, said on Deutschlandfunk public radio. "Whether the other side can even begin will have to become clear in the next hours and days, since if there's no government--no negotiations."

Mr. Oettinger said the U.K. election result injected new uncertainty into the process. He noted it was unclear whether or not London's chief negotiator in the talks, which had been scheduled to start shortly after Thursday's election, would stay the same.

"Two strong partners are confident, and will come faster and better to a conclusion that both sides can accept," Mr. Oettinger said. "A weakened partner weakens the negotiations overall."

But Mr. Oettinger said the EU shouldn't change its approach to the talks and that it wasn't yet clear whether or not the vote meant the U.K. would change its position on Brexit.

Write to Anton Troianovski at anton.troianovski@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 09, 2017 02:28 ET (06:28 GMT)