European Commission member in charge of Brexit negotiations with Britain, Michel Barnier, gestures as he speaks during a press conference at the end of a general affairs council at the European Council in Brussels, May 22, 2017.
EU ministers on May 22, 2017 unanimously gave Frenchman Michel Barnier the green light to start what they warned would be "very difficult" talks with Britain over its exit from the bloc. Negotiations are not expected to begin until mid-June after the British general election, but the two sides are already at loggerheads over key issues including the cost of Britain's departure.
 / AFP PHOTO / EMMANUEL DUNAND        (Photo credit should read EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images)