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BRUSSELS – The European Parliament's biggest group says that it will not be possible to negotiate Britain's divorce proceedings and a new relationship at the same time, and warns that the 2-year negotiation timeframe will be too short to have a full Brexit resolution.
Manfred Weber, the head of the Christian Democratic EPP group, called it "a kind of mission impossible" acerbated by the nine months lost since the British voted to leave on June 23 last year. Britain is set to trigger the start of negotiations on Wednesday.
EU officials have insisted the divorce terms must be settled before talks on a new relationship with Britain can begin.
Weber said any trade deal with third countries usually takes years to complete.
The European Parliament will have to approve any Brexit deal.