Angela Merkel says European Union ready for Brexit negotiations and wants quick resolution

A spokesman for Mrs Merkel had previously refused to be drawn on the issue out of "politeness and respect" while the process of forming a new United Kingdom government was under way.

But in one of the most sensational nights in British electoral history, a resurgent Labour Party denied her an outright win, throwing the country into political turmoil as no clear victor emerged.

May's party fell short of an overall majority following Thursday's vote, and plans to work with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

This meant that Theresa May, the Conservative leader, had good reason to cultivate a relationship with the DUP, to win their support and minimize the risk that defectors could undermine her government.

Some remembered it as the party of Ian Paisley, the firebrand Protestant cleric who once heckled the pope himself, calling him the Antichrist.

Ruth Davidson, the Conservative leader in Scotland, said she had asked May for assurances that there would be no attack on gay rights after a deal with the DUP.

One red line is the idea of Northern Ireland being granted some sort of "special status" when Brexit comes to pass - the DUP will not stand for any arrangement that physically sets the region apart from anywhere else in the UK.

Despite DUP party leader Arlene Foster warning it would be hard for Mrs May to remain prime minister, discussions are going on behind the scenes.

Malvern Gazette

Fallon told the BBC that in light of the election result a new approach was needed, welcoming the resignation of her two closest aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who were perceived by many Conservative lawmakers to be high-handed and secretive. "When it becomes a matter for me is when people try to redefine marriage". We do not know the exact contours of the deal that it struck with May, but it is likely to be a good one for the Unionists.

"She's staying, for now", one Conservative Party source told Reuters.

The result was a personal humiliation for Mrs May who called the election three years before she had to to bolster her position in Parliament as she embarked on the negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

With talks due to start in Brussels on June 19, Mr Tusk said it was their "urgent task" to get on with the negotiations in "the best possible spirit".

The best-selling Sun newspaper said senior members of the party had vowed to get rid of May, but would wait at least six months because they feared a leadership contest could propel Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn into power.

If she is to succeed in delivering the wishes of 52 percent of the public and take Britain out of the European Union, she must find a way to secure the full support of her party to pass legislation preparing for and enacting the departure.

In a letter to the PM congratulating her on her reappointment, he said the two-year time frame set out under Article 50 of the European Union treaties left no room for delay.

  • Leroy Wright