World

Brexit talks left hanging as May tries to form alliance

LONDON: British Prime Minister Theresa May began talks yesterday to form an alliance with Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) in order to cling to power after her election fiasco, leaving the EU's Brexit negotiator wondering when divorce talks will begin.

Days after Mrs May lost her parliamentary majority in a failed electoral gamble, she welcomed the leader of the DUP to Downing Street in a bid to gain the support of its 10 MPs.

The arrival of DUP leader Arlene Foster followed a Cabinet meeting, during which ministers went over plans "to deliver the best possible Brexit deal" according to a government spokesman.

Mrs May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result and on Monday faced her MPs and vowed to govern.

"I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out," she told her Conservative MPs.

As she attempts to cobble together a majority, European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he would hold talks with British envoy Olly Robbins to organise the negotiations.

"My preoccupation is that time is passing - it is passing quicker than anyone believes - because the subjects we need to deal with are extraordinarily complex from a technical, judicial and financial point of view.

"That is why we're ready to start very quickly.

"I can't negotiate with myself," he told European newspapers including the Financial Times.

The European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Mr Guy Verhofstadt, also expressed his frustration.

He said: "We are impatiently waiting for the negotiating position of the UK gov(ernment). The current uncertainty cannot continue," he said on Twitter. 
- AFP

BREXITeuropean unionunited kingdom