The longer we leave it, the better. We take our time. We make our plans. We talk to the *opposition* leaders in the EU countries about how best the UK can help them get into government. We can talk to leaders around the world and get deals in place to start once Brexit is sorted.
Generally in this negotiation, if the EU wants something, then the UK is probably best advised to do the opposite.
With elections in France and Germany next year, I would ask for discussions with Hollande and Merkel and if rebuffed, start talking to the political opposition in those countries instead. Why talk to the monkeys when you can talk to the organ grinder?