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

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European Council President Donald Tusk congratulated Theresa May on her reappointment on Friday as British prime minister and urged her to start talks as soon as possible on Britain's exit from the EU to minimise disruption.

With talks due to start in Brussels in ten days time, Mr Tusk said it was their "urgent task" to get on with the negotiations in "the best possible spirit".

Ms May, who campaigned against Brexit a year ago, had demanded a clean break from the European Union single market and called a snap election hoping for a big majority to strengthen her negotiating hand.

"The Labour left remembered that you don't win by tacking to an imaginary center - you win by letting people know you feel their anger and giving them a constructive end to channel it towards".

He said: "the timeframe set by Article 50 of the Treaty leaves us with no time to lose", he added, referring to a deadline of March 2019 when Britain will no longer be a member of the bloc, whether or not a deal is reached to avoid legal uncertainties.

Responding this morning to the UK's hung parliament, Barnier said "Brexit negotiations should start when (the) United Kingdom is ready".

That was also the broadly desired outcome in Brussels, where leaders believed that a stronger British government would be better able to cut compromise deals with the European Union and resist pressure from hardline pro-Brexit factions in her party that have called for Britain to reject European Union terms and potentially walk out without a deal.

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"We want to negotiate quickly, we want to stick to the time plan, and so at this point I don't think there is anything to suggest these negotiations can not start as was agreed".

His comments suggest the European Union is willing to delay the start of official negotiations, which were due to start on 19 June.

Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex negotiations even more complicated.

Meanwhile, the chair of the European Parliament's centre-right grouping, Manfred Weber, warned that "the clock is ticking for Brexit".

"The British have spoken, they have voted, and have given the Conservative party a majority, albeit a simple majority, which is something of a surprise", French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe told Europe 1 radio.

"The results of the United Kingdom election indicate to me that there is no strong mandate to proceed with a hard Brexit, which represents an opportunity for Ireland".

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