UK's May isolated ahead of Brexit talks as key aides quit

Nick Mcbride
June 14, 2017

In a political drama both brutal and surreal, British Prime Minister Theresa May tried Friday to carry on with the business of governing as usual, while her Conservative Party reeled from losing its parliamentary majority and her opponents demanded she resign.

Her Conservatives struck an outline deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) for support on key legislation, a humiliating outcome for them after an election meant to make them a dominant force. "I have the feeling, because otherwise they would have given her a better vote". She's now attempting to form a government. Youngsters and elderly joined together yesterday, 'which made them possible to conquer 261 seats compared to the 318 of the ruling Conservative Party.

British politicians differ widely on what they want from the Brexit negotiating process, seeing it as a way to shift Britain either to the right or left.

DUP leader Arlene Foster confirmed she will enter talks with May in an effort to pursue "stability" in Parliament, without giving further details on the conditions for the party's support.

May had advocated a "hard Brexit" - a withdrawal that includes a clean break from the European Union's single market and customs union.

She said the government would start Brexit negotiations with the European Union as scheduled in 10 days' time.

This is the first time since the 1990s that Britain has a minority government, in which the governing party can not get measures though Parliament without outside support.

Since the election, most of the members of her cabinet have kept quiet on the issue of May's future, adding to speculation that her days as prime minister might be numbered.

Britain's pound tumbled after an election that denied any party a majority in parliament and fomented a sense of political chaos just days before Brexit talks begin.

Former Treasury chief George Osborne - who was sacked by May a year ago - called May a "dead woman walking", and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said he was ready to contest another election at any time.

May told the British electorate that the election was about strengthening Britain's hand in the tense Brexit negotiations.

"Imagine she survives until autumn of next year", he said.

"The last thing business leaders need is a parliament in paralysis, and the consequences for British businesses and for the United Kingdom as an investment destination would be severe", said Stephen Martin, director general of the Institute of Directors business lobby.

Voter turnout in the election was up from 66 percent in 2015 to nearly 69 percent, and half a million more young people registered to vote than before the last election.

Damian Green, a lawmaker in the pro-EU wing of the party, was promoted to first secretary of state - effectively deputy prime minister.

The Times newspaper's front page declared "May stares into the abyss".

"Politics has changed and this is people saying they have had quite enough".

Other reports by VgToday

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