European Union fears Brexit delay, uncertainty after shock United Kingdom vote

Britain was plunged into political turmoil on Friday after Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority in a snap election just days before negotiations on leaving the European Union were set to kick off.

Russian news channel Rossiya 24 said May had suffered a "devastating defeat" while Australian outlets reported comments made by Australian Labor Party leader Bill Shorten, who said lessons should be learned for his country's politics in general, and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in particular.

He added: "Who knows, perhaps British society will still decide it's worth remaining after all in a Europe of nation states".

"Perhaps, due to the loss of the parliamentary majority, the British team of negotiators will have to be altered and it is not known who will hold responsibility for specific areas of negotiations", Patryk Toporowski from the Polish Institute of International Affairs told Polish Radio.

"In our view, the lack of a majority for any party is likely to delay Brexit negotiations, scheduled to start very soon", S&P Global said in an emailed statement. While she was expected to continue to push for a "hard Brexit" that would see the United Kingdom make a relatively clean break that would leave it outside the single market and the EU's free movement of workers, European officials had also expected she would have more leeway to make compromises, making for a relatively smooth transition. "Let's put our minds together on striking a deal", he tweeted on Friday morning.

European Union budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger stressed that the official deadline of March 2019 is a bit of a stretch in itself.

But he added, "I don't think we should read these results as calling into question the stance on Brexit which was clearly expressed by the British people".

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European Parliament Brexit pointman Guy Verhofstadt compared the British outcome to former British prime minister David Cameron's ill-fated decision to call last year's Brexit referendum.

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".

Donald Tusk has warned Britain to speed up Brexit negotiations to avoid ending up without a deal.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that he can only hope that Britain soon builds a government that can negotiate with the EU.

According to an analysis in the BBC, the loss of seats by May's party in the election could make Brexit negotiations more hard, as it raises the possibility that the Prime Minister could be unable to sell the tough trade-offs required by a negotiation at home. "The date for the beginning of negotiations is now unclear", he wrote on Twitter. "We know when they must end", said Mr Tusk.

The DUP made it clear Friday that it doesn't want Northern Ireland to have any special status post-Brexit within the U.K. The DUP is anxious that by keeping one foot inside the European Union - with a fluid border with the south - it would be seen as a step towards decoupling the country from the U.K.

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