Official talks on Brexit to start Monday

MESEBERG, Germany, June 14 German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday the European Union was ready to start negotiating with Britain about its exit from the EU on June 19, as planned, saying she assumed that the talks would proceed despite last week's parliamentary election in Britain.

"The talks are continuing but I think the events in London today probably will have some impact on that".

But pressure was mounting for May to change course on the type of Brexit Britain should pursue.

The Commission said the high-priority issue of the shared border between Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom, and Ireland, an European Union member, will also be discussed.

He wouldn't be drawn on whether he supported Britain's continued membership in the single market and said May's minority government will negotiate in a "pragmatic" manner, striving for a solution that works for both sides. "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".

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, warned Tuesday that "the current uncertainty can not continue" and on Wednesday issued five "pressing questions" on Twitter.

"My clear view, and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain, is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth, protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward", he said. But like Alice In Wonderland, not all doors are the same. It begs the question whether May's government, apparently rudderless and without real power, can realistically hope for getting a deal out of Europe when its own social problems seem to have reached a boiling point at home. "Party interest or national interest?"

Britain can stay in European Union but perks will end: Verhofstadt
Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called for a cross-party committee to be set up to handle the Brexit negotiations. It is the only way to unite the country and strengthen our bargaining power with the European Union ".

Yet many of her lawmakers and party members favor a sharp break with the European Union - a sign of the divisions over Europe that helped sink the premierships of May's predecessors Margaret Thatcher, John Major and Cameron.

Her spokesman said Britain would not change its stance on Brexit, though May told her lawmakers she would seek a broader consensus in the party on her approach.

The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions of Brexit.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faced further delays in forming her new government on Wednesday after her would-be allies said their agreement would be put back following a deadly tower block blaze in London.

The Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein, which wants the British province to join a united Ireland, said the prospect was causing anxiety and fear in Northern Ireland.

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 minimise the potential damage to Northern Ireland.

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