General Election: EU puts squeeze on Theresa May over Brexit

Negotiations are set to begin in just nine days, with the German chancellor saying the European Union wants talks to progress "quickly" despite United Kingdom politcians still reeling from Thursday's shock election result.

"We are ready. We have completed the guidelines, the framework", Merkel said Friday in Mexico City.

Addressing a news conference along with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico, she said European Union wants talks to progress quickly and smoothly.

British voters failed to deliver a widely expected parliamentary majority for the Conservative party in Thursday's general election, dealing a major blow to Prime Minister Theresa May just days ahead of hard Brexit talks with the EU.

"We were waiting for the election in Britain but in the next few days these talks will begin", she said.

However, she added the EU countries would be "asserting the interests of the 27 member states that will make up the European Union in future" during negotiations.

She added that Britain will still remain in Europe after Brexit, and that she wanted the country to remain a good partner.

In the wake of last year's Brexit referendum, called and lost by Prime Minister David Cameron, Britain's Conservative party took a long time to reorganize itself before it finally triggered the Brexit negotiations on March 29.

Having failed to secure a majority after after calling a snap election, Theresa May now faces having to tear up her plans over Brexit negotiations. "I have the feeling, because otherwise they would have given her a better vote". As Mrs May attempts to build a coalition government, amid calls to step down, there is a risk of further instability, and even another election. "We know when they must end", said Mr Tusk.

The election result has sown confusion for European Union leaders, who have expressed a desire to negotiate with a unified UK.

It was only after lunchtime that EU Council President Donald Tusk congratulated Theresa May her "reappointment" as prime minister, while reminding her that the Brexit clock is ticking.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's top Brexit official, is eager to get talks started. These shifting political sands have not gone unnoticed on the continent, where politicians and bureaucrats are sharpening their pencils ahead of the start of Brexit negotiations.

EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier underscored the point, posting on Twitter that the exit timing and the European Union positions were already clear and that talks would start when the "UK is ready".

  • Zachary Reyes