The interior of Lloyd's of London, the centuries-old insurance market, is pitctured in central London on April 27, 2016. AFP / LEON NEAL
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The European Union would insist on completing a swift divorce with Britain before starting to forge any new relationship if U.K. voters decide in June to leave the 28-member bloc.Two EU sources familiar with the bloc's latest thinking on a possible Brexit said Thursday there was no appetite to grant any extension of the two years provided by the EU's Lisbon Treaty for negotiating a withdrawal, while any new trade partnership would take many more years to conclude.The first source said the initial two-year negotiations would cover only issues such as residual EU budget payments to and from Britain, the pensions of British EU civil servants and relocation of EU agencies based in the U.K ..Britain would probably leave on July 1, 2018, and become a "third country" in EU parlance.British Europe Minister David Lidington, who supports the "Remain" camp, said Thursday it was doubtful whether Britain would get any trade agreement with the EU within 10 years.
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