EU ready to start Brexit negotiations, says Merkel

Angelica Greene
June 12, 2017

British Prime Minister Theresa May lost her parliamentary majority in an election on Thursday and is in talks with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for support to form a new government.

European Union officials and leaders, including Germany's Angela Merkel, had grown impatient with the it prepared to begin formal talks to exit from the trading bloc almost a year after the country's citizens voted to abandon its membership.

From the EU's perspective, the upset meant a possible delay in the start of Brexit talks and an increased risk that negotiations would fail.

Robbins is expected to travel to Brussels this week to set up the talks and European Union negotiators expect May to try to "convince" fellow leaders at...

Theresa May called this snap unexpected election with one objective: to strengthen her mandate ahead of Brexit negotiations.

"We do not know when Brexit talks start".

Indeed, while the chances of a soft Brexit might be on the rise, May might also feel the need to stage a "symbolic show of strength" as negotiations begin, said Mujtaba Rahman, managing director for Europe at Eurasia Group.

Corbyn, who was among those calling on May to resign after the election results emerged, said that British people have had enough of austerity politics and cuts in public spending, ruling out the potential for deals or pacts with other progressive parties in parliament.

The election led to a hung parliament after the Tories won 318 seats, down from 330 they got in 2015.

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European Council President Donald Tusk has warned Theresa May there is "no time to lose" in the Brexit negotiations.

Merkel said she sees Nafta talks, set to begin as soon as mid August, as a positive and a process that German companies are watching closely.

A Downing Street spokeswoman said: "The Prime Minister has tonight spoken with the DUP to discuss finalising a confidence and supply deal when Parliament returns next week".

His comments suggest the European Union is willing to delay the start of official negotiations, which were due to start on 19 June.

While the DUP campaigned to leave the European Union in last year's referendum, it has refused to endorse Mrs May's position that "no deal is better than a bad deal" - insisting that there must be no return of the "hard border" with the Republic. "She missed her target of an absolute majority", he said. That is why the European Union wants the talks to go smoothly.

"I still think the odds are on we will have some sort of Brexit", David Stubbs, global market strategist at JPMorgan told CNBC on Friday over the phone. Now, all remains unclear.

"The prospect of another election raises the risk of a delay, potentially leaving the United Kingdom without a negotiated exit settlement".

In a note to clients, UBS wrote that the relative strength of hardline pro-Brexit groups in a weak Conservative government could make a breakdown in talks more likely and make it harder to reach a trade deal: "A tighter political balance could make it easier for prevent the government from offering the compromises needed to secure a trade deal".

Other reports by GizPress

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