United Kingdom must make up its mind on Brexit, says European Union adviser

The UK's Brexit secretary David Davis and European Union negotiator Michel Barnier will begin negotiations on Monday after prime minister Theresa May invoked article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which starts the clock on the UK's departure from the European Union ahead of a departure deadline of March 2019.

"All the options are balanced and come with obligations", an European Union official working on Brexit said, noting that May had seemed to be looking for a sweeping free trade deal like that agreed past year with Canada but that some of those calling for "soft" Brexit cited arrangements such as those with Norway and Turkey.

The unprecedented negotiations come nearly exactly a year after Britons voted last June 23 to leave the EU.

Britain's preparations for the complex Brexit talks have been thrown into turmoil after Prime Minister Theresa May failed to secure a parliamentary majority in a national election last week.

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The article states that discussions on a member's withdrawal must "take account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union".

"We believe that the withdrawal process can not be concluded without the future relationship also being taken into account", the spokesman said.

If the chastened prime minister and Brexit Secretary David Davis take a gentler tone when talks finally launch in Brussels next week, they could win valuable concessions, some think.

"My clear view, and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain, is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth, protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations", finance minister Philip Hammond said.

Mr Davis said that there had been a "huge amount of work across Whitehall to prepare for these talks" and insisted the United Kingdom would not "turn out backs to Europe".

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After a tumultuous week that pitched Britain into its deepest political crisis since the Brexit referendum a year ago, May's future was uncertain due to her botched gamble on a snap election and a muted response to a deadly fire in London.

The officials corrdinating the negotiations, Sabine Weyand, who is the European commission's deputy chief negotiator, and Olly Robbins, the permanent secretary at the Department for Exiting the EU will then meet in the afternoon.

Britain's financial obligations are expected to amount to at least $64 billion, and could go over $100 million, although London has suggested it will not pay that much.

They face massive uncertainty on health benefits, pensions, taxes, employment and education.

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