Diplomats say 'lame duck' Theresa May won't win concessions from the EU

15 Juin, 2017, 03:16 | Author: Claudine Rigal

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert says Germany will apply to move the medicines regulator to the western city of Bonn, which already hosts several national and worldwide agencies.

Reuters reports that the meeting concluded with a consensus that the Conservatives will not seek a leadership contest at this point in time.

Seibert was unable to say which other countries are applying to host the two agencies.

The prospect of a deal has also caused consternation in Dublin, with Irish premier Enda Kenny warning such an alliance could upset Northern Ireland's fragile peace.

Brexit talks have been delayed while Prime Minister Theresa May forms a new minority government.

Mrs May's weakened position in the House of Commons as a result of losing her majority has fuelled speculation the Tories would be forced to soften their stance on Brexit.

Republican Sinn Fein won seven seats but historically hasn't taken them up in the London chamber.

Asked about Mr Verhofstadt's comments, European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein played down suggestions of a change in the UK's status, telling reporters: "The UK is a member of the European Union and will remain so until it leaves, so that is where we are".

He said: "This doesn't depend entirely on us".

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Brexit negotiations had been due to start next Monday, but that timetable has been thrown into doubt by May's disastrous loss of a parliamentary majority last Thursday. Already there are expectations that the Queen's Speech, which would outline the government's legislative agenda for next year, will be delayed from next Monday.

There is frustration among European Union leaders and officials that three months have already passed since May triggered Article 50, the device which started the Brexit process. May's Conservatives have lost their majority in parliament, party members blamed what one called a " just awful" campaign, training their ire on an election team that highlighted the 60-year-old's flaws by sticking doggedly to an agreed script instead of masking her weaknesses.

The European Commission said it is prepared for the negotiations to start as soon as the United Kingdom is ready but refused to give a date.

By contrast, Britain's minister in charge of the Brexit talks, David Davis, expressed no such signs of compromise this week. Davis confirmed that negotiations will begin with negotiating divorce proceedings before moving on to trade.

The EU has set a clear negotiating plan for Brexit talks with a possible free trade deal with Britain only coming after the bloc is satisfied with the outcome of a divorce bill for the UK.

Demanding a swift start to Brexit negotiations under Article 50 of the European Union treaties, the former Belgian prime minister compared Britain's position to the heroine of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, who found herself in a room with many doors and no idea what lay behind them.

After calling a snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand, Theresa May now faces having to tear up her plans - should she cling on to power long enough to set them in motion.

David Davis has signalled that discussions on the UK's exit from the European Union (EU) may not start on June 19 as anticipated. "She is a formidably good prime minister".


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