09:33 | 16/08/2016 Global Economy
Britain's exit from the European Union could be delayed until at least late 2019 because the government was too "chaotic" to start the two-year process early next year, the Sunday Times reported, citing sources it said were briefed by ministers.
Britain, European and French flags are seen before a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France (Credit: Reuters)
Britain voted to leave the EU on June 23, but views differ over when it should invoke "Article 50", which sets the clock ticking on a two-year deadline to leave the bloc, with some senior politicians calling for a quick departure.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who campaigned for Britain to remain in the EU and leads a cabinet of ministers from either side of the debate, has said she will not trigger Brexit talks this year as Britain needs time to prepare.
But British government ministers have warned senior figures in the City of London, London's financial district, that Article 50 was unlikely to be triggered early in 2017 because the situation in government was "chaotic", the Sunday Times reported on August 14.
European leaders have taken a firm line on the speed of Britain's exit, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel saying that while it was understandable that Britain would need a few months to figure out its strategy, "nobody wants a long period of limbo".
But behind the scenes, there has been a growing realization in Europe's capitals that the two-year window for negotiating Brexit is far too short.
Britain created two new government departments to handle Brexit and international trade, led by David Davis and Liam Fox, two prominent "Leave" campaigners in the referendum./.