Britain-EU Brexit talks to start Monday as planned

Saturday, 17 Jun, 2017

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, an independent-minded figure within Mays party who actually achieved a measure of success in the election, beating back the anti-Brexit Scottish Nationalists, is not likely to lend her 13-strong parliamentary groups support to the hardliners: they are unpopular in Scotland.

Downing Street has insisted that Thursday's general election - which Theresa May had hoped would strengthen her mandate for negotiations but ended up creating a hung Parliament - will not change the approach to Brexit it set out a year ago.

Rather than establishing clarity, however, this shock election result created political chaos - and more uncertainty in terms of reaching a reasonable deal on Brexit.

Mr Gove said: "Labour argued that we should leave the European Union and end free movement, in effect be outside the single market".

France's Macron said the EU's door was still open for Britain as long as the negotiations were not finished, but that it would be hard to reverse course. "But let us be clear and organized".

"My clear view, and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain, is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth, protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations", Hammond told reporters before a meeting of the 28 European Union finance ministers in Luxembourg.

The cautiously friendly French comments came hours after Germany's influential finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, raised the possibility of an all-is-forgiven reconciliation. After the talks, she tweeted: "Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion".

"We are impatiently waiting for the negotiating position of the United Kingdom gov (ernment)".

Mrs May said the election revealed "a unity of purpose" among British voters for the Government to get on with Brexit.

Like many in the bloc, Mr Verhofstadt has always been critical of the rebate that then-prime minister Margaret Thatcher secured in the 1980s, which means Britain gets about half of its European Union budget contributions back.

The announcement followed speculation that talks may have to be delayed because of the inconclusive outcome of last week's General Election, which has already forced the State Opening of Parliament to be put back from June 19 to 21. May triggered the two-year clock in March. But she squandered the lead in what was criticized even by her allies as a bumbling and wooden campaign.

The poll showed that 63% of people surveyed had an unfavourable view of May, compared to 29% who said they did.

"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. That's why we're ready to start very quickly.

"And I confirmed to President Macron that the timetable for the Brexit negotiation remains on course and will begin next week". Their influence on the British government is a cause for deep concern that must be addressed to assure the public and political parties of the independence of the talks process. "If we can't, then time is ticking".

The EU has insisted that this sequence involve sorting out Britain's departure and urgent issues like the rights of citizens affected by Brexit before the shape of future ties or trade are discussed. "Now there is none".

"Everyone is feeling that this is a mess", he said.