Merkel says ready for Brexit talks, assumes United Kingdom sticking to its plan

The past year has seen plenty of surprises in Western politics following presidential victories for Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron in the United States and France, respectively, while it is nearly 12 months since Britain voted in favour of exiting the European Union. But in one of the most sensational nights in British electoral history, a resurgent Labour Party denied her an outright win, throwing the country into political turmoil as no clear victor emerged.

British voters failed to deliver a widely expected parliamentary majority for the Conservative party in Thursday's general election, dealing a major blow to Prime Minister Theresa May just days ahead of hard Brexit talks with the EU.

May had also said she was ready to walk away from the Brexit negotiations without a deal, rather than signing up to a "bad deal". "Our political traditions are different", May said as she set out her 12-point plan for Brexit.

Elmar Brok, a prominent German conservative member of the EU parliament, said Europeans would be disappointed May had failed to gain the majority that could have helped her override her party hardliners: "Now no prime minister will have that room for maneuver", he said.

"MARKETS DON'T LIKE INSTABILITY": While the Conservative party came first in Thursday's vote, it lost its parliamentary majority, and is now hoping to secure the support of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party and its 10 seats to push it over the line.

"There are a lot of uncertainties", he told AFP from his company's offices soon after the start of London trading.

The U.K. could suffer another ratings downgrade after a General Election led to a hung parliament, Moritz Kraemer, sovereign chief ratings officer at S&P Global, told CNBC on Friday.

Addison Russell returns to Cubs following abuse allegation
Russell admitted spending a day away from the field was hard given that the ballpark is his home and where he feels comfortable. Russell is having a down year at the plate. "There's periods of times when you're struggling and scuffling".

She had, he said, "played with fire" in binding Britain to the two-year deadline for Brexit talks and had now "got burned". Bohuslav Sobotka said that too much time had already been wasted.

"Brexit negotiations should start when United Kingdom is ready; timetable and European Union positions are clear".

Sky News also predicted May would lose her majority, scoring somewhere between 315 and 325 seats.

The decision of Britain to leave was a shocking and cathartic moment in the 60-year history of the bloc, whose member states want to keep Britain as a close partner once it is out. The talks, which the European Union wants to ensure a legally smooth British departure in March 2019, would be more uncertain without a strong negotiatng partner, he said. The risk of having no deal worries some in Britain, particularly businesses. "Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations", he wrote. "I am fully committed to maintaining regular and close contact at our level to facilitate the work of our negotiators".

Germany's European Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said "a weaker partner weakens the whole thing", while if both sides were strong "you get results more quickly".

To keep within the timeframe, the European Union nations "need a draft agreement before end of October next year", to have enough time to push it through their own decision-making process.

"If. the Conservative Party has won the most seats and probably the most votes then it will be incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability and that is exactly what we will do".

Related news