DUBLIN Members of the British government have indicated that they may be ready to launch formal negotiations to leave the European Union in late January or February next year, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny said on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Theresa May has ruled out giving formal notification this year of Britain's intention to leave the European Union under Article 50 of the EU treaty, but has not given any clear guidance of her intentions beyond that.
Kenny's comments echo those of European Council President Donald Tusk who at a meeting of EU leaders in Bratislava on Friday said May had signalled a similar timeframe for setting in motion the two-year countdown to Britain's exit.
"At the discussion in Bratislava, the feeling was that it should not be delayed too long so the impression that I get is sometime towards the end of January, February and that's been referred to me by members of the British government themselves," Kenny told a news conference.
Kenny, who held his first formal meeting with the new British Prime Minister one month after the shock June 23 referendum result, met David Davis, the minister responsible for leading Britain's exit negotiations, in Dublin earlier this month.
(Reporting by Padraic Halpin; editing by Stephen Addison)