Brexit talks can start 'when UK is ready', says EU chief negotiator

British Prime Minister Theresa May holding her polling card

British Prime Minister Theresa May holding her polling card

Now that it made a decision to jump ship, it seems it can't get its act together to actually leave.

The European Council leader congratulated the Conservative leader after she announced she was to form a minority government with the backing of the Democratic Unionist Party.

But in a catastrophic setback, the bet failed and she lost her overall majority.

If the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party can not come to an agreement, it will be up to the Labour Party to form a minority government, according to The Economist.

Elected EU officials and members of the European Parliament aimed their fire squarely at Theresa May - who called the snap election in an attempt to strengthen her hand in the Brexit talks - and the wider Conservative Party.

Mr Tusk tweeted on Friday morning that there was a risk Britain could be left with "no deal" if talks in Brussels were delayed by the uncertainty.

"I hope that the British will be able to form as soon as possible a stable government".

The EU Commission's Brexit man Michel Barnier also felt it was time Britain sorted out its government. Bohuslav Sobotka said that too much time had already been wasted. We want to do it quickly, respecting the calendar.

Ms May, who had campaigned against Brexit previous year but took over the Conservative party after David Cameron lost last June's Brexit referendum, delivered her terms for withdrawal in March.

Then in April, Cameron's successor, May, called an early election that again stalled talks with Brussels. If May (or her successor from within the party) proves unable to navigate this dynamic, Britain could see the quick collapse of the coalition government and new elections.

"I thought surrealism was a Belgian invention", quipped Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister.

Barnier had previously set a timetable of talks starting in the week beginning June 19, with agreement on initial issues by autumn of this year and a provisional Brexit deal in October 2018. Now, all remains unclear.

"I think the message of the election is: have fair discussions with the European Union and have another think about whether it is good for Britain to leave the European Union in this way", Gabriel added.

That would also make it improbable that Britain could secure the rapid free trade agreement it wants with the European Union after it leaves.

"The prospect of another election raises the risk of a delay, potentially leaving the United Kingdom without a negotiated exit settlement". The risk of having no deal worries some in Britain, particularly businesses.

The other 27 governments are particularly concerned that a breakdown in negotiations could lead to Britain ceasing to be a member on March 30, 2019, as laid out in Article 50 of the European Union treaty, without negotiating the kind of divorce terms that would avoid a chaotic legal limbo for people and businesses. "I am fully committed to maintaining regular and close contact at our level to facilitate the work of our negotiators".

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