EU leaders on Friday rejected calls from some member states to postpone Brexit talks, after EU officials warned it would be far too expensive and time consuming to reach an agreement.EU leaders agreed to hold talks next week and the bloc is hoping to reach a deal by the end of March.
The EU said the current EU framework is too complicated, and the EU leaders have been working for more than three years to resolve it.
But leaders rejected calls for a quick deal, and warned it could be more than five years before it is ready.
“It is not possible for us to agree a timetable, for us all to agree on a schedule for the process of departure,” EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters.
Mogherini said she believes EU leaders should not postpone Brexit negotiations, because they could have “a big impact on the lives of millions of Europeans” and that “we can’t wait for this to be over.”
The EU’s executive will meet later this week, with Mogherinis first meeting with EU leaders.
“We are not in a position where we can do this on the weekend, in a hurry,” she said.
The European Commission, the bloc’s executive, said in a statement that the EU has been “in contact with all 28 members and has been willing to share its proposals for a transitional framework” to ease the burden of Brexit on the bloc.
The Commission said EU countries should focus on a deal with Britain, not “burdensome” negotiations with the United Kingdom.
“For the EU, it is not a priority to reach Brexit negotiations in a rush, and instead to make progress quickly,” the Commission said.
“The EU has to reach this agreement quickly and decisively, with a clear vision for the future.”