UK election results cast cloud over Brexit talks

DW – June 9, 2017

UK Prime Minister Theresa May had called Thursday’s snap elections to strengthen her hand in Brussels, but the loss of her Conservative majority has plunged the Brexit process into disarray just over a week before talks are scheduled to begin.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the vote showed just how unpopular May’s Brexit plan was among the public. He added that Britain should rethink how it leaves the EU.

“The message from this vote is: hold fair talks with the EU and think again whether it is really good for Britain to leave the EU in this manner,” he told reporters on Friday, adding that he hoped “a new government will be formed quickly with which we can hold serious negotiations.”

“No government, no negotiations” was what Günther Oettinger, the European commissioner for budget and human resources, told the German public broadcaster Deutschlandfunk on Friday. “With a weak negotiating partner, there is a risk that the negotiations will go badly for both sides,” he said.

EU Council President Donald Tusk was more blunt, warning that even if talks did not have a start date, they will end in March 2019.