Theresa May's stance might 'delay' EU-Brexit talks by a year

Cheryl Sanders
June 14, 2017

Prime Minister Theresa May will meet representatives of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Tuesday in a bid to prop up her minority government, after the Conservatives were left eight seats short of a majority in last week's general election.

"The DUP may never have the political arithmetic so favourable again so like the Conservatives, the DUP will want to avoid another election and will want to keep drinking in the political free bar that is available to it", Tonge said. She also signalled she's willing to rethink her approach to Brexit.

"The UK has had a reputation, earned over the generations, for stability and predictability in its government", said a senior executive at a multi-national company listed on the London FTSE 100, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out", she told her Conservative MPs.

The PM also faced calls from Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson, whose influence has grown dramatically with the election of 13 Tories north of the border, to pursue a softer Brexit with greater focus on the economy and more cross-party input. She will host Foster to thrash out the terms of the party's backing and agreement to vote with the Tories on policies in the House of Commons to get bills through.

At the tense meeting, one MP said May was "contrite".

"The Tory civil war on the European Union which has ripped it apart since the Maastricht rebellions of the early 1990s, and which the referendum was supposed to solve, is now raging again", said Chris Grey, an academic who specializes in Brexit at Royal Holloway in London.

Theresa May's disastrous election result has thrown the Brexit negotiations into question with no clear sense of when they will begin or what sort of Brexit and future relationship the United Kingdom is now seeking.

With formal European Union divorce talks due next week, May heads to France on Tuesday to meet Emmanuel Macron, who last month swept to victory in its presidential election. The two leaders will later attend a soccer match between their two countries.

Barnier held "talks about talks" with May's Brexit advisor Olly Robbins and British EU ambassador Tim Barrow in Brussels on Monday but they failed to agree on a date for the negotiations to begin, an EU official said.

"My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex".

He added: "Time is passing". Talks are set to continue after the election of a speaker in the House of Commons on Tuesday afternoon. However, unlike Cameron, who was forced to announce his resignation within hours after last June's Brexit vote, May remains in office, though her days in Downing Street do appear to be numbered.

"The only conclusion I can that the election has changed absolutely nothing for Brexit". "Once she'd made that concession, that mea culpa, the room really warmed up".

"But we do want to do so in the national interest to give stability to the government and that's why we will be entering these negotiations", she said.

Chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond was squeezed in at the back.

In an article for the Times on Tuesday, the new Environment Secretary Michael Gove - who has clashed with May in the past - said she was the ideal person to secure a Brexit agreement that "commanded the widest possible support" given her track record of "seeing through vital jobs to the end".

Last night, during a meeting with the so-called 1922 Committee of senior and influential Conservative Party members, a contrite May took responsibility for last week's electoral loss, in which the party lost its parliamentary majority, and vowed to run a more inclusive administration going forward.

Mr Adams, addressing claims of Sinn Fein disengagement, said: "We want into the institutions, because that is what the people desire, that is what the people voted for".

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