Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Brexit talks left hanging as May tries to form alliance


British Prime Minister Theresa May plans to put her program to parliament next week, a sign of confidence that talks on propping up her government will conclude in a deal and end days of uncertainty since she lost her majority.

As European leaders tried to fathom exactly how Britain would begin the negotiations, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Germany wanted a Brexit deal that would limit negative consequences for the bloc but also did not want it to weaken Britain.

Talks with the DUP broke up on Tuesday night without an agreement, but Mrs May said the discussions had been "productive".

She said: "I think there is a unity of objective among people in the United Kingdom".

But pressure was mounting for May to change course on the type of Brexit Britain should pursue. May now faces the task of satisfying both the pro-European and eurosceptic factions of her party, keeping Northern Ireland calm and negotiating a divorce with 27 other European Union members whose combined economic might is more than five times that of Britain.

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Secretary of State James Brokenshire has said there is very little time left and says the local parties have it in their hands to take control of their future. The appointment of the hardline Brexiteer Steve Baker to the Brexit Department might appease the Tory backbenchers, but it will ring alarm bells for those of us concerned about the impacts of an extreme Brexit. "The reality is that where we stand follows logically from leaving, so, if we're leaving, what we need to do is do it smoothly and successfully and gain economic benefit". Brexit negotiations that were scheduled to begin next week was also likely to be postponed.

"Like Alice in Wonderland, not all the doors are the same".

The Conservative source said: "We're confident of getting an agreement, we're confident that the Queen's speech will be passed". That's why I'll be seeking cross-party support for an Environmental Protection Act - which would cement and enhance European Union environmental laws and their enforcement as we navigate the Brexit process. Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, Major and Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU.

He called for a joint meeting of the "CBI [Confederation of British Industry], the Institute of Directors, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, the TUC [Trades Union Congress], the first ministers of the devolved governments, and the leaders of all the opposition parties", to establish how to "conduct a transitional period and how to help the economy through Brexit as a priority..."

May has given no indication that she will change her plan for Brexit, though she has said she will try to achieve broader agreement across her party. That would give May enough votes to pass her legislative agenda through parliament and govern, albeit with a wafer-thin majority.

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The announcement by Andrea Leadsom suggests that Prime Minister Theresa May and the Northern Ireland-based Democratic Unionist Party have struck an agreement or are close to one.

The talks revolve around support from the DUP on a vote-by-vote basis in parliament, rather than a formal coalition government.

Although the DUP are unionists - wanting to remain part of the United Kingdom - and broadly support numerous policies of the Conservative and Unionist Party (as the Conservatives are correctly called), May's proposed deal could scupper attempt to broker a power-sharing deal with Sinn Fein - which promotes the unification of Ireland - on the Northern Ireland Executive.

The DUP is believed to be more favourable to a "soft Brexit" that would keep Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland free-flowing.

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