European Union ready for Brexit negotiations, says Merkel

European Union ready for Brexit negotiations, says Merkel

"Half past nine", suggested EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. Now that it has made a decision to jump ship, it seems it can't get its act together to actually leave.

Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May pledged to form a government that would guide the country through the Brexit process.

"The French President Emmanuel Macron called to congratulate the Prime Minister, and said he was pleased that she would continue to be a close partner".

So this was her opportunity to put flesh on the bones of her mantra "Brexit means Brexit".

After failing to achieve a majority, May is set to meet with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland on Tuesday to cobble together a deal to ensure her minority government can get its Queen's Speech - a key annual event in which the government lays out its policy agenda for the coming year - through Parliament.

A Downing Street spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister confirmed her intention for Brexit talks to begin as planned in the next couple of weeks, and that we would be looking for a reciprocal agreement on the rights of European Union citizens and British citizens overseas at an early stage".

"I hope the United Kingdom will soon have a stable government to start negotiations", he told The Associated Press.

Northern Ireland is the only part of the U.K.in which same-sex marriage is illegal.

The UK Government wants the talks to take place in parallel during the Brexit process.

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"Her wish and will was not really too much accepted by the British people", he said.

"I don't think we should talk about some prolongation of the deadline", he said in Prague. "That's why we're ready to start very quickly".

The referendum vote previous year had delivered a verdict that the country wanted to leave the European Union but did not elaborate upon what terms.

May called for a snap election in April to gain a bigger majority than the seats her Conservative party had at the time. "That's not a matter for me", she said.

"I thought surrealism was a Belgian invention", quipped Verhofstadt, a former Belgian prime minister. Now, all remains unclear. "We will defend the interests of the 27 member states, and Britain will defend its own interests".

Michel Barnier, the EU's top negotiator, and Oliver Robbins, the permanent secretary for the department for exiting the European Union, met over lunch in Brussels, along with Tim Barrow, the UK's envoy to the EU.

EU's chief negotiator says Britain risks not getting a deal as the clock ticks down.

Unless the government in London convinces the European Union 27 to agree to continue talks with the United Kingdom beyond March 2019, Britain will automatically crash out of the bloc without a deal that specifies the terms of its divorce.

The EU and United Kingdom were already racing against the clock with an agreement needed by the end of 2018 so that their parliaments can rubber-stamp it. "So our expectation and hope is that there is a new government in London as soon as possible". "So we have 15, or 16 more months".

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