January 17, 2017 / 7:31 PM / 3 years ago

France's Hollande told May expects quick start of Brexit negotiations - source

PARIS, Jan 17 (Reuters) - French President Francois Hollande told British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday that negotiations over Britain’s exit from the European Union should begin as soon as Britain invokes Article 50, a presidential sources said.

Hollande and May held a telephone conversation after she set a course for a clean break with the EU trading bloc in a speech on Tuesday. May said Britain would quit the bloc’s single market.

“The president took note of this clarification and indicated that he hoped negotiations would begin as soon as possible after the notification of the planned exit by the end of March,” the source said.

May informed Hollande of her desire to establish an economic relationship with the EU in the framework of a trade agreement and insisted on the importance of Franco-British cooperation in the areas of security and defence, the source said.

May intends to trigger Article 50, to launch the formal process of negotiating the terms of Britain’s exit from the EU, by the end of March. (Reporting by Jean-Baptiste Vey; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alison Williams)

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