The president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz has said it is important to finish negotiations for Britain's exit from the European Union before European elections scheduled for mid-2019.
Since deciding in a referendum this summer to leave the EU, Britain has not yet invoked the article of the EU treaty to begin negotiations.
Once it does, negotiations are foreseen to last two years.
Schulz, a member of Germany's centre-left Social Democrats who leads the 28-nation EU's legislative assembly, said on today he "understands that the British government wants to take its time".
But, the dpa news agency reported, he added that it would not be good for Britain or the EU if the British were voting for members of the EU parliament while negotiations to leave the bloc were still going on.