Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Merkel says ready for Brexit talks, assumes UK sticking to its plan

Merkel says ready for Brexit talks, assumes UK sticking to its plan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Britain on Saturday to speedily launch Brexit talks now that the election was over, while US President Donald Trump spoke over phone with Theresa May on Friday to offer her his "warm support" after the election setback that saw her fall short of a majority.

Mrs Merkel added she hoped Britain would remain a good partner following the talks, due to begin on 19 June.

"At the same time, we say that we want to remain a good partner to Britain".

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. "But obviously while also asserting the interests of the 27 member states that will make up the European Union in future", she underlined.

Following a hung parliament in the snap election she called, Mrs May said she would form a minority government to deliver Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May had hoped to win a bigger mandate in the snap vote and improve her position in negotiations with the European Union on Brexit.

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Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit co-ordinator, described the election result as "yet another own goal" for the UK.

Michel Barnier, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator, indicated on Twitter that the European Union was prepared to show some patience, making it clear that talks should not begin until the political situation had settled in the UK.

"Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations".

After calling a snap election in a bid to strengthen her hand in the talks, Prime Minister Theresa May now faces heading to Brussels with a weaker mandate and with her own position under threat. "We know when they must end", said Mr Tusk.

And Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon called on all parties to "join together" to keep the United Kingdom and Scotland in the single market.

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