As Brexit talks loom, May scrambles for deal to stay in power

Claudine Rigal
Juin 18, 2017

The Sunday Times said ministers within May's cabinet had "let it be known" they would oust the prime minister if they thought she could not pass the government's legislative programme in a vote expected on June 28.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May had hoped to enter negotiations with a strong bargaining hand, but the recent snap general elections have left her without a majority in Parliament and mired in talks between her Conservative Party and the minor Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland in a bid to achieve a ruling pact.

Primer Minister Theresa May leaves Downing Street on her way to Buckingham Palace in London after Britain's election.

Conservative Party sources say May wants to show her government is up and running but her loss of authority in last week's election will make it harder to handle a hectic agenda - Brexit talks with the European Union, tackling a slowing economy, a political crisis in Ireland, and a devastating fire in London. She has really hacked off the parliamentary party for obvious reasons.

"I'm a Northern Ireland native journalist and can't find full time paid work, but someone at Sky News Australia thinks Sinn Fein is a person", wrote Twitter user Aoife-Grace Moore.

A source close to the party said on Saturday that the deal between the DUP and May's Conservative Party was likely to steer clear of social issues such as abortion and gay rights and focus instead on additional funding for the British province.

And as leaders welcomed the new tone in London and talk of a "softer Brexit" that may be less disruptive than May's clean break with the single market and customs union, officials from at least some governments saw compromise on the British bill.

While European leaders try to gauge what to expect from the Brexit talks due to begin in Brussels on Monday, May is so weakened that her own Brexit strategy is the subject of public debate in her own party, and by her potential allies.

Britain's Brexit ministry said on Friday that no deal could be struck on exiting unless the future relationship with the bloc was taken into account.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said the Government's priority in the negotiations should be to protect jobs, economic growth and prosperity. "They can't have it both ways, it has to be dealt with sensibly", she said.

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