Discussions around Article 50 will begin in earnest as Tories finalise power-sharing deal with DUP

Next Monday will see the start of official Brexit negotiations between the UK and the European Union, days before the Conservative-led minority government lays out its legislative plan for the next Parliament in the Queen’s Speech.

The Department for Exiting the European Union announced yesterday that following discussions in Brussels, both sides agreed that the formal negotiations under the Article 50 process could now start.

In a joint statement issued today, officials said: “Michel Barnier, the European Commission’s Chief Negotiator and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday June 19.”

With the Conservative party’s grip on power dependent on the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, some have questioned the strength of the UK’s case in talks with Brussels.

Anthony Brown, sales and marketing director of fit-out firm BW, said while the general election had been called by the prime minister to strengthen the UK’s hand, it had actually had the opposite effect and put back on the table the “widest possible array” of Brexit options.

“For those that consider ‘hard’ Brexit an act of economic self-harm, the possibility that the hard-liners will have to seek greater compromise offers a chance to extract some victory from the political disarray.

“This minority government has lost the authority to lead such critically important negotiations; what is needed is a cross-party negotiating team that brings together the brightest talents available.”

A number of senior figures have called for a more bi-partisan approach to talks between ministers from Westminster and the EU, including the former prime minister and MP, David Cameron.