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EU's Juncker urges London not to delay Brexit talks

FILE PHOTO: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker chairs a meeting of the EU executive body in Brussels, Belgium May 10, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir/File Photo

PRAGUE (Reuters) - European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday he hoped the result of Britain’s elections would have “no major impact” on EU-UK divorce talks between the bloc and London, and advised London not to delay the start of negotiations.

Britain and the European Union had agreed to begin Brexit talks on June 19.

“I do strongly hope that Britain will stay ready to open negotiations. As far as the Commission is concerned we can open negotiations tomorrow morning at half past nine so we are waiting for visitors coming from London,” Juncker told a news conference.

“I do hope that the result of the elections will have no major impact on the negotiations we are desperately waiting for,” he said.

Juncker also reminded London that there would be no change to the two-year deadline after which Britain will be out of the European Union with or without an agreed deal

“I don’t think the British government would be well inspired if asking to postpone the starting of the negotiations anyway. The clock is ticking. We have two years and the fact in which democracy expressed itself in the way it did yesterday has no influence at all on that count.”

Reporting by Gabriela Baczynska, Philip Blenkinsop, Elizabeth Miles, Jason Hovet, Robert Muller; Editing by Alastair Macdonald