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European Union tells May 'no time to lose' on Brexit

13 Juin 2017

Elmar Brok, a prominent German conservative member of the EU parliament, said Europeans would be disappointed May had failed to gain the majority that could have helped her override her party hardliners: "Now no prime minister will have that room for manoeuvre", he said.

The article by Tom McTague added: "From a position of relative strength, dominating a compliant parliament which had accepted Brexit, Theresa May is now struggling to cling on to her job, unsure whether she will even be able to form a minority government". That is why the European Union wants the talks to go smoothly. That would curb discord and any further breakaways by showing Britain was no better off out.

That started the clock ticking on a two-year period that should end in March 2019 with the U.K.'s departure. But as Gardner warns, without getting the strong majority she wanted, May remains beholden to the Euroskeptics in her party.

May appears to understand she'll have to be more accommodating in negotiations now.

BUT.EU leaders think she is bluffing because no deal would spell economic and legal chaos.

There is a common acceptance across the political spectrum, across the EU institutions and across European capitals that Brexit is now inevitable and a broad sense that it needs to be implemented to remove uncertainty on both sides.

She has called for an "open Brexit" strategy that would focus on retaining trade ties and has said she wants a role in devising the government's policy. Barnier, meanwhile, can not stray from his mandate without a new, unanimous agreement of the 27. Some still cling to the hope of the Brexit process being reversed. "That's what the national vote was about and therefore we need to get on with that, but we need to do it in a way that reflects the specific circumstances of Northern Ireland and of course our shared history and geography with the Republic of Ireland". Writing in the mass-circulation Sun newspaper, Johnson stressed that the Conservatives won more votes than at any time since Margaret Thatcher and are still the largest party in Parliament. And it might mean taking time for another British referendum.

Banks, businesses, ports and flights, the politically sensitive and economically significant Irish border, EU citizens living in the UK, UK citizens in the rest of the EU, UK healthcare - the list is endless UK-side.

May called the snap election three years early - and her decision backfired. The two-year deadline is created to weaken the leavers' hand.

These terms include a clean break from the EU's single market and customs union.

Unsurprisingly the main concern on the continent is how the result will impact Brexit. But that still leaves it far short of a majority, even in combination with other sympathetic parties, especially since the Scottish National Party lost 21 of its 56 seats, a serious blow to its goal of Scotland's independence.

The development shifts Northern Ireland to the centre of United Kingdom politics for the first time since the Good Friday Agreement.

This could be the key battleground in the coming months. Though she has reappointed most of her old cabinet and brought back arch-Brexiteer Michael Gove in the relatively unimportant role of environment minister, she has also made Damian Green, an old ally and a vocal "remainer", her second in command as first secretary of state.

"When a steady but uninspiring leader has been found wanting, they may turn to a tried and tested victor with the charisma to take on Corbyn".

German conservative Markus Ferber, an European Union lawmaker involved in discussions on access to European Union markets for Britain's financial sector, was particularly scathing.

He said: "The British will now have to set up a new team". But the bloc seems for now committed to not breaking ranks.

However, it remains hard to see how a government can deliver a soft Brexit when any concessions the EU may extract for considerable access to the Single Market would surely involve accepting the Union's "four freedoms" [free movement of goods, free movement of workers, free movement of capital, and freedom of establishment and to provide services]. "The British people have rejected a hard Brexit".

European Union tells May 'no time to lose' on Brexit