Europe

EU negotiator Barnier tells UK on Brexit: no parallel talks

  • Britain's former UKIP leader Nigel Farage attends a session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The European Union's chief negotiator in the upcoming divorce proceedings with Britain says that parallel talks on its exit from the EU and a future trade relationship "is a very risky approach" he is bent on avoiding. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

    Britain's former UKIP leader Nigel Farage attends a session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The European Union's chief negotiator in the upcoming divorce proceedings with Britain says that parallel talks on its exit from the EU and a future trade relationship "is a very risky approach" he is bent on avoiding. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)  (The Associated Press)

  • Britain's former UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks to members of the European Parliament during a session in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The European Union's chief negotiator in the upcoming divorce proceedings with Britain says that parallel talks on its exit from the EU and a future trade relationship "is a very risky approach" he is bent on avoiding. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

    Britain's former UKIP leader Nigel Farage speaks to members of the European Parliament during a session in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The European Union's chief negotiator in the upcoming divorce proceedings with Britain says that parallel talks on its exit from the EU and a future trade relationship "is a very risky approach" he is bent on avoiding. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)  (The Associated Press)

  • European Chief Negotiator of the Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50, Michel Barnier, arrives at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The European Union's chief negotiator in the upcoming divorce proceedings with Britain says that parallel talks on its exit from the EU and a future trade relationship "is a very risky approach" he is bent on avoiding. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)

    European Chief Negotiator of the Task Force for the Preparation and Conduct of the Negotiations with the United Kingdom under Article 50, Michel Barnier, arrives at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France, Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The European Union's chief negotiator in the upcoming divorce proceedings with Britain says that parallel talks on its exit from the EU and a future trade relationship "is a very risky approach" he is bent on avoiding. (AP Photo/Jean-Francois Badias)  (The Associated Press)

The European Union's chief negotiator in the upcoming divorce proceedings with Britain says that parallel talk on its exit from the EU and a future trade relationship "is a very risky approach" he is bent on avoiding.

Michel Barnier told EU legislators on Wednesday that "to succeed, we need on the contrary to devote the first phase of negotiations exclusively to reaching agreement on the principle of the exit."

British Prime Minister Theresa May last week sought hand-in-hand negotiations on exit and future relationship, while the EU Council president and EU top legislators argued against it.

The Brexit talks are expected to start in late May once the negotiating guidelines of the 27 member nations have been sealed in a mandate for Barnier.