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Brexit talks postponed to hand negotiators more flexibility

The European Union and Britain agreed to delay by a week the next round of Brexit talks, on expectations that Prime Minister Theresa May would make an important speech on the subject on Sept. 21, diplomats in Brussels said.

UPDATE: Britain said on Tuesday the next Brexit talks had been postponed until Sept. 25 to give “negotiators the flexibility to make progress in the September round”.

Earlier, Brussels diplomats told Reuters a new round of talks between Britain and the European Union had been delayed until the end of the month to let Prime Minister Theresa May make a key speech on Sept. 21.


“The UK and the European Commission have today jointly agreed to start the fourth round of negotiations on September 25,” a government spokesman said in a statement.

“Both sides settled on the date after discussions between senior officials in recognition that more time for consultation would give negotiators the flexibility to make progress in the September round.”

UPDATE: Nothing has been formally agreed with the European Union on moving the next round of Brexit negotiations, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

Earlier, diplomats in Brussels said the EU and Britain had agreed to delay the talks by a week to Sept. 25 on expectations that May would make an important speech on the subject on Brexit on Sept. 21.

“The latest position on this from our perspective was that both sides said they were keen to be flexible, but we hadn’t formally agreed anything,” the spokeswoman said.

The next round will now begin Sept. 25 rather than Sept. 18, which one source said was “for reasons of Britain’s political calendar.”

Another source said Britain asked for the delay to let May set out London’s latest views and plans on Brexit before more negotiations.