Germany ready for talks with United Kingdom on European Union exit: Angela Merkel

  • Germany ready for talks with United Kingdom on European Union exit: Angela Merkel

Germany ready for talks with United Kingdom on European Union exit: Angela Merkel

Britain was plunged into political turmoil on Friday after Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in a snap election just days before negotiations on leaving the European Union were set to kick off.

The Czech prime minister said Friday that Britain should not be granted any extension on the two-year deadline for the Brexit talks.

She added that Britain will still remain in Europe after Brexit, and that she wanted the country to remain a good partner.

The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has set June 19 as his favoured date for the start of talks, due to last around 14-18 months.

In a sign of growing impatience with the shambolic state of the British side of the talks, senior European Union sources said that if London insisted on talking about a free trade deal before the issues of its divorce bill, citizens rights and the border in Ireland were sufficiently resolved, it would be met with a blunt response. That would curb discord and any further breakaways by showing Britain was no better off out.

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said he wanted Brexit discussions to proceed without delay, while Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator for Brexit, said "negotiations should start when United Kingdom is ready". However, May and her allies have questioned the EU's negotiating proposals.

The Observer newspaper said the deal with the DUP fell short of a full coalition agreement because of concerns among some Conservative lawmakers about the socially conservative DUP's position on gay rights, abortion and climate change.

Speaking for many Tory moderates, the independent-minded backbencher Sarah Wollaston this morning criticised May's emphasis on contrasting her personal leadership style with that of Corbyn.

"Leaving aside that this is a disaster for the Tories and that no one knows what comes next, we need a functioning government that can negotiate Great Britain's exit", said EU Budget Commissioner Günther Oettinger.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have said freedom of movement will end when Britain leaves the EU. Some still cling to the hope of the Brexit process being reversed.

The threat to take a year out of the already dwindling window for negotiations under article 50 of the Lisbon treaty illustrates the intense frustration felt in Brussels.

"We need a government that can act", he told the Deutschlandfunk radio station.

Senior Conservatives said there was no longer support in Parliament for a so-called "hard Brexit" after the party saw its Commons majority wiped out.

It would be possible to request an Article 50 pause or extension but whether it will be approved by the EU27 is another matter.

First, the Conservative Party first held and lost an European Union referendum in order to see off the electoral threat posed by UKIP, then triggered Article 50 - starting the clock on a strict two-year period of negotiations - only to leave the country without an effective government just as talks start. "It has an effect on tariff negotiations, on contract negotiations in business and in politics". The two-year deadline is created to weaken the leavers' hand. May's unionist allies in the province also want to avoid a hard border. Electoral losses for the Scottish nationalists have also weakened their hand to threaten a new independence vote.

"There is no doubt Brexit will happen, but things have become more complicated". "With a weak negotiating partner, there's the danger that the negotiations will turn out badly".

As Ms. May promises to stick to the timetable for starting negotiations in 10 days' time, the European Union says time was running out to secure a deal before Britain formally leaves in March 2019.

"Corbyn campaigned on a softer version of Brexit", Moscovici said. So talks on "soft Brexit" could be a waste of time.

EU President Donald Tusk urged Britain not to let the hung parliament delay negotiations.