UK turmoil as Brexit talks could be delayed

Brokenshire not keen on Stormont mediator move amid DUP deal criticism

Brokenshire not keen on Stormont mediator move amid DUP deal criticism

May's Conservatives unexpectedly lost their majority in parliament in last Thursday's snap general election, unleashing political chaos ahead of Brexit talks with the European Union, which are set to start next Monday.

The British currency fell to a two-month low of $1.2659, from $1.2780 late Friday, after officials suggested both the announcement of the prime minister's agenda and talks over Britain's divorce from the European Union could be postponed.

The rare and strongly-worded intervention by the former prime minister, who also called for a more collegiate approach to Brexit, will be deeply unsettling for May, who is holding talks at Downing Street with the DUP leader, Arlene Foster.

DUP leader Foster said there had been "positive engagement" so far.

A Downing Street spokesman declined to comment.

May, who is trying to wrap up an arrangement with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party that would allow her to lead a government with a majority of votes in the House of Commons, moved to demonstrate that she understands the frustration within her own ranks following the election.

The former PM, who was central to the start of the peace process, said an alliance with the DUP would jeopardise the United Kingdom government's crucial role as an "honest broker" in Northern Ireland.

"The last thing anybody wishes to see is one or other of the communities so aggrieved that the hard men, who are still there lurking in the corners of the communities, decide that they wish to return to some form of violence", Major told BBC radio. And that worries me a great deal about the peace process. I am wary about it.

While the DUP are deeply eurosceptic, they have balked at some of the practical implications of a so-called hard Brexit - including a potential loss of a "frictionless border" with the Republic of Ireland - and talks will touch on efforts to minimize the potential damage to Northern Ireland.

With formal European Union divorce talks due next week, May heads to France later today to meet Emmanuel Macron, who last month swept to victory in the presidential election.

He tweeted: "Looks like we might need a time-out in the Brexit negotiations".

She mocked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a socialist, as incompetent and unrealistic, but his electoral campaign energized the youth vote and wiped out the Conservatives' majority in parliament.

"If the DUP don't prioritise the restoration of the institutions, and instead decide to become a prop for a dysfunctional minority government in London, then the parties should consider inviting an independent chairperson to oversee proceedings".

Senior UK government ministers held secret talks with rival Labour members of parliament to secure bipartisan support for a soft Brexit, British broadsheet "The Daily Telegraph" revealed on Tuesday.

The prime minister is due to face MPs later today, where she could face demands to quit over her lacklustre campaign and decision to call the election in the first place.

She apologized to fellow Tories for leaving the party in a worse off position than it was when she inherited the leadership from David Cameron.

"Overall, we believe that the election outcome will hamper Brexit negotiations and increase fiscal risks, and therefore be negative for the U.K.'s credit profile", Moody's said in a statement.

"The DUP may never have the political arithmetic so favourable again so like the Conservatives, the DUP will want to avoid another election and will want to keep drinking in the political free bar that is available to it", Tonge said. He expected London to remain an important financial center for Europe after Britain had left.

"This government's record in terms of LGBT rights is a very proud one and one which the government is very proud to promote and stand by", he said. "If they jeer and say "Britain is weakened" it hardens attitudes here".

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