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Brexit talks facing slight delay, David Davis reveals

13 Juin 2017

David Davis, the cabinet member in charge of Brexit, said talks with the European Union may not start on Monday because it would clash with the Queen's Speech, but they will still begin next week.

The EU has said that Brexit talks need to make sufficient progress before trade deals can be discussed, though Britain had argued the discussions should take place simultaneously.

May looked set to face criticism and anger from Conservative MPs at a private meeting in parliament over her handling of an election that lost the party its parliamentary majority.

For months after Brexit, polls consistently showed the Conservative Party's popularity increase, as opposed to Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party, which was steadily declining.

May has promised to start the formal Brexit talks next week but her authority has collapsed since the election result and opponents took her woes as a chance to push back against her Brexit strategy.

However, the election resulted in a hung parliament and unprecedented uncertainties regarding the Brexit negotiations that are supposed to wrap up by the end of March 2019. French President Emmanuel Macron, whose brand-new party has nearly secured a historic victory in the French parliamentary election, and Merkel, who is riding high in the polls and is likely to be re-elected in September, have the strong mandates necessary for a pitched battle.

"She is fine, she is getting on the with the job", Davis said when asked how May was.

May wants to negotiate the divorce and the future trading relationship with the European Union before Britain leaves in March 2019, followed by what she calls a phased implementation process to give business time to prepare for the impact of the divorce. "We are ready and able to put forward a serious programme which has great support in this country", Corbyn said. "The European citizens in the United Kingdom, we want to get on with as fast as possible because we don't want people to be in a state of anxiety".

"The time frame set by Article 50 of the Treaty leaves us with no time to lose".

"Our members have just worked their socks off for seven weeks and to think that we as a parliamentary party could shut them out of a future leadership contest would be deeply discourtous to them".

Mrs Foster declined to give details of what she termed a "positive engagement with the Conservative Party", but said she would be travelling to London late on Monday for discussions with her team of 10 DUP MPs ahead of a meeting with Mrs May on Tuesday.

To keep power, May made a decision to form a coalition with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party and their 10 members of parliament, which would put her over the government-forming requirement line.

With the DUP's 10 seats, the alliance will secure a majority in the parliament. "It would be hugely helpful for the country as a whole to have the best minds working together - but the insecurities and opportunities this chaotic outcome presents to both the Conservatives and Labour means there will strong voices from both sides to favor partisanship", said Gaston.

His comments came as DUP leader Arlene Foster warned Stormont rivals participating in the faltering negotiations that the "time for unreasonable behaviour and unrealistic demands is over".