European Union ready for Brexit negotiations, says Merkel

European Union ready for Brexit negotiations, says Merkel

May had called the election in the hope of increasing her majority and bolstering her position in Brexit negotiations.

"I don't think we should talk about some prolongation of the deadline", he said in Prague.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said he was also ready to start talks and hoped the United Kingdom general election would not have an impact.

Wobbling UK Prime Minister Theresa May faced a storm of withering criticism from European Union officials and politicians, accusing her of an "own goal" after she lost her parliamentary majority less than two weeks before the start of Brexit talks.

May confirmed Friday afternoon she will form a Westminster government, helped by members of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's top Brexit official, is eager to get talks started.


Speaking during a visit to Mexico City, Merkel said Germany was ready for the Brexit talks, which May said would begin on June 19 as scheduled - although she now risks more opposition to her European Union departure plans from inside and outside her party. Bohuslav Sobotka said that too much time had already been wasted.

May, who became prime minister after Britain's June 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union, called the election three years early in a bid to strengthen her hand in the looming Brexit negotiations.

Guy Verhofstadt, the former Belgian Prime Minister and now the leader of the European Parliamentary group of liberals and democrats, described the general election result as "yet another own goal" for the UK. Some senior European politicians want to stick to the current timetable, under which talks are due to begin this month. Whether the ministerial negotiating team of David Davis, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox will even remain the same is far from clear.

Within the two years of talks, Britain wants to not only agree on the terms of its exit but also negotiate a new relationship on things like trade and security. The risk of having no deal worries some in Britain, particularly businesses.

EU Council President Donald Tusk told Britain in a Tweet: "Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations". "[Our manifesto] said we wanted to leave the customs union and the single market, but get access to them".

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