UK PM May said wants broader consensus on Brexit plan: lawmaker

Election 2017 | analysis June 9 2017 12:01am The Times Corbyn triumphs on his own terms Henry Zeffman

Election 2017 | analysis June 9 2017 12:01am The Times Corbyn triumphs on his own terms Henry Zeffman

Theresa May has told Conservative lawmakers she would serve as prime minister as long as they wanted her after a botched election gamble cost the party its majority in parliament and weakened Britain's hand days before formal Brexit negotiations. "And the danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties".

May and the leader of the DUP, Arlene Foster, were both tight lipped after the crucial meeting, but later Foster said on her social media site: "Discussions are going well.and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion".

May will host Arlene Foster in Downing Street to discuss terms of the DUP's backing for her minority government, reports the BBC.

While some members of her party have said she will have to go eventually, Ms May is expected to stay on as prime minister at least for now.

"I confirmed to President Macron that the timetable for the Brexit negotiation remains on course and will begin next week", Ms May said after her meeting with the new French leader, who will be a key player in the Brexit talks.

The disastrous result also prompted calls - from within her own party - for her resignation, leading May to apologise to her own MPs on Monday evening.

The Daily Telegraph reported cabinet ministers have opened back-channel talks to senior Labour lawmakers to secure a cross-party agreement on Brexit.

In a surprise move, Michael Gove was appointed environment and agriculture minister less than a year after the prime minister sacked him as justice minister.

Mr Green said the Brexit talks were "the most urgent task facing the new Government".

"It's going to be hard, there's no doubt about that, but perhaps an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it", he said.

It is thought the PM will scrap plans to rethink the "triple lock", which guarantees the state pension, as well as means tests for winter fuel payments - two policies which proved unpopular during the election, and which have also been rejected by the DUP.

Foster's rivals in Northern Ireland, such as Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, have objected, describing any partnership between the Conservatives and the DUP as "a coalition of chaos".

A failure to gain support from the Northern Irish party would risk the Queen's Speech being voted down next week, and Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will be pushing hard for that outcome.

At a press conference with May, Macron said the door was "always open" for Britain to remain in the European Union as long as the negotiations on Brexit have not finished.

"If that's not possible, the Labour Party stands ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest".

He suggested the DUP would be asking for money and that would be seen as the "government paying cash for votes in parliament", and would be received badly in other parts of the UK.

The EU's negotiator Michel Barnier dismissed the suggestion of postponing the negotiations and said such a delay would only prompt further instability.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May first triggered the Article 50 mechanism to leave the bloc nearly three months ago, with formal discussions due to begin on 19 June. It is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex.

"The idea that the United Kingdom led by this prime minister and this government can just blunder into negotiations starting one week today, I just don't think it's a credible proposition", she told reporters in London.

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