Brexit minister Davis says United Kingdom could still walk away with no deal
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 17, 2017,
Jun 17, 2017, 18:28
Since May's Conservative Party failed to win a majority in last week's general election, there has been a lot of debate over the impact on the Brexit discussions and whether the British government will be more open to compromising on some issues, like trade.
The only decent argument in favor of U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May's decision not to step down as prime minister after a disastrous election is that the first round of Brexit talks is scheduled for June 19.
The announcement by Andrea Leadsom suggests that Prime Minister Theresa May and the Northern Ireland-based Democratic Unionist Party have struck an agreement or are close to one.
That would cause the European Union to lose interest and disengage, letting her fail and expecting the United Kingdom political process pick a new negotiating partner with even less time to complete the talks.
"I think there is a unity of objective among people in the United Kingdom", May said following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.
"It's a unity of objective, having voted to leave the European Union, that their government gets on with that and makes a success of it".
Pressure was mounting for May to change course on the type of Brexit Britain should pursue.
Britain will be the first member state ever to leave the bloc.
Nevertheless, it illustrated the challenge May will face in the remaining days before the European Union divorce talks begin: finding a position that satisfies both pro-European and eurosceptic factions of her party if she wants to remain in power.
May has given no indication she will change course on the key elements of Brexit; but whatever her plan she will be heavily reliant upon the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who would help her edge past the 326 votes needed in parliament to avoid the government collapsing.
May is holding talks Thursday with other Northern Ireland political parties amid warnings the expected DUP deal will undermine the peace process.
Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, an independent-minded figure within Mays party who actually achieved a measure of success in the election, beating back the anti-Brexit Scottish Nationalists, is not likely to lend her 13-strong parliamentary groups support to the hardliners: they are unpopular in Scotland.
Arriving for a meeting with his counterparts in the 28-country EU, Philip Hammond said his "clear view and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth and protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations and take them forward". Until she does, she and her ministers are on borrowed time.
The DUP, Mays last-ditch coalition partner, is pro-Brexit, but its manifesto emphasised its support for the soft border with Ireland.
The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions of Brexit.