PIX: Pete Maclaine/dpa

Negotiations over the terms of Britain’s exit from the European Union will begin on Monday, the top British and EU Brexit negotiators said in a joint statement on Thursday.

EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier and British Brexit Secretary David Davis said they had agreed to launch negotiations on June 19 – a date previously put forward by the EU to accommodate the British general election, held on June 8.

The decision to go ahead with the talks comes after the election called by Prime Minister Theresa May backfired, leaving her with a minority government and throwing the start date into question.

Technical talks between EU and British officials on how the negotiations should be conducted began this week.

The two sides have until March 2019 to agree to the terms of Britain’s divorce from the bloc and arrangements for a future relationship. -dpa

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