Merkel: EU ready for Brexit negotiations

Merkel: EU ready for Brexit negotiations”

Mrs. May could also drop a stance she repeated before the election, that "No deal is better than a bad deal", which would signal a commitment to some kind of agreement during the two-year Brexit talks.

With talks due to start in Brussels on June 19, Mr Tusk said it was their "urgent task" to get on with the negotiations in "the best possible spirit".

Steven Blockmans of the Center for European Policy Studies said that because of the current chaos, "it is questionable whether that period of time will be sufficient in order to strike a good deal".

The March 2019 deadline for leaving could be pushed back, but it would need the agreement of all 27 of the remaining European Union members.

After confirming on Friday that her top five ministers, including finance minister Philip Hammond, would keep their jobs, May must name the rest of her team, who will take on one of the most demanding jobs in recent British history.

"We will negotiate strongly but fairly", he insisted, "but whether the other negotiation partner can even negotiate, we must wait and see in the next few hours, the next few days".

European Parliament Brexit negotiator and Belgian ex-premier Guy Verhofstadt warned the election result would make talks more hard.

Brexit negotiations were scheduled to start in earnest next Monday.

EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier, who was responsible for setting the goal of starting talks in the week beginning June 19, said they should start when the "UK is ready".

On June 23 it will be a full year since Britain voted to leave the EU. The Conservatives have 318 of 650 parliamentary seats, down from 330, and are seeking support from a small Northern Irish party, the Democratic Unionist Party, to support a minority government. That is why the European Union wants the talks to go smoothly.

Manchester University professor of government Prof Colin Talbot said: "The problem is that basically we don't know what Mrs May wants from the Brexit negotiations". It appears clear that, whatever their private fury with Ms May for putting Brexit in peril, the Brexiteers believe the only way to save the exit timetable is to shore her up.

When the talks do begin, there could be a very different approach from the "hard Brexit" advocated by May that would involve leaving Europe's single market and curbing European immigration. Some parliamentarians in both the Conservative and Labour parties want to remain in the EU.

As DUP is the largest unionist political party in Northern Ireland, its relations with Ireland are a lot different, as Northern Ireland depends on trade more to the EU-27 member state than to the United Kingdom on its trade relations.

Theresa May repeatedly urged voters to hand her a large majority so that she could go into talks in Brussels with the firm backing of the country and the House of Commons behind her.

"I don't think we should talk about some prolongation of the deadline", he said in Prague.

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