Brexit News for Friday 9 June

Brexit News for Friday 9 June
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General election results in hung parliament as Tories fail to win majority…

The Conservatives have failed to win an overall majority, and the UK is now set for a hung parliament, says the latest BBC forecast. It shows gains for the Labour Party after Thursday’s general election. This would be a humiliation for Prime Minister Theresa May, who chose to call the election to try to strengthen her hand in talks with the EU on Brexit. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn urged her to resign, but she said her party would “ensure” stability in the UK… With more than 600 seats now declared, the Tories are projected to get 316 seats, Labour 265, the SNP 34 and the Lib Dems 13. – BBC News

…with the Brexit-backing DUP’s ten seats potentially being crucial to the parliamentary arithmetic

The Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland could be the key to keeping the Conservatives in Downing Street now that a hung parliament has been confirmed. The Tories have emerged as the largest party but without an overall majority, giving the Northern Irish party’s MPs the chance to provide vital backing to a larger party hoping to form a government… Jeffrey Donaldson, the DUP’s chief whip, has said this morning that the the DUP was willing to talk with the Conservatives in the event of a hung parliament. He told the BBC: “This is perfect territory for the DUP because obviously if the Conservatives are just short of an overall majority it puts us in a very strong negotiating position. “Certainly that is one we would take up with relish”, he said. He also pledged to continue to lend his party’s support to the Conservatives on issues such as Brexit. – Telegraph

  • General election result: Everything you need to know – Telegraph
  • How will the General Election result affect Brexit? – Telegraph
  • How the UK election result affects Brexit – FT (£)
  • General election 2017: What does the result mean for Brexit? – City A.M.
  • Who are the Democratic Unionist Party, who is Arlene Foster and what’s in the 2017 DUP manifesto? – Express
  • Nick Clegg biggest casualty among General Election ‘big beasts’ – Sky News
  • Liberal Democrats rule out coalition with Labour as former leader Nick Clegg loses seat – Telegraph
  • Alex Salmond defeated on night of disaster for SNP – The Times (£)

Jon Craig: Hung parliament could jeopardise Brexit timetable

When Theresa May made her shock announcement on 18 April calling a General Election, she said it was “to make a success of Brexit”… A hung parliament of the kind produced by the 2010 election must surely throw the Prime Minister’s preferred Brexit timetable into doubt. First, a government may not be in place by 19 June, when detailed negotiations with Brussels’ chief negotiator Michel Barnier are due to begin. And if there is to be another General Election later this year or early next year, the whole two-year plan for Brexit could be wrecked… In the palaces and chancelleries of Europe – not to mention in Brussels – the presidents, prime ministers and European Commission bureaucrats will no doubt be chortling with uncontrolled glee at the humiliation that Mrs May could be heading for. One can imagine the thirsty Jean-Claude Juncker pouring himself another large Cognac and Germany’s Angela Merkel quaffing another of those huge beers she swigged at a campaign event just 11 days ago. – Jon Craig for Sky News

  • What is a hung parliament? – Politico
  • Theresa May’s future in doubt as election gamble backfires – Beth Rigby for Sky News
  • Theresa May will steady the ship before stepping aside – Matthew Parris for The Times (£)
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg insists Britain is still heading for EU exit doors – Express
  • UK general election: deadlock is Britain’s new normal – Janan Ganesh for the FT (£)
  • This looks like a calamity for Theresa May. How long will she last now? – Harry de Quetteville for the Telegraph (£)

Westminster chaos is bad for divorce talks, says gloomy Europe…

Leading figures across the EU warned that chaos in Westminster would make the Brexit negotiation timetable a near-impossible task with talks due to start in ten days… The view of EU capitals was that Mrs May needed a decent majority so she could face down hardline Conservative backbenchers who would refuse to compromise on the Brexit “divorce” money and the extensive rights Brussels wanted to see for EU citizens… “Who will we be meeting in two weeks? We do not know and we will not know for weeks if it is a hung parliament. Instability will be unhelpful for everyone but especially for Britain,” one EU diplomat in Brussels said last night as the exit polls were announced. “We wanted a strong negotiator with Britain behind her; that is not looking good after this exit polls.” – The Times (£)

…as EU Commissioner warns negotiations may have to be postponed after hung parliament

Brexit talks might be delayed after Britons voted for a hung Parliament, a senior European Union official said. EU Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said that talks about Britain leaving the EU might not now start as planned in 11 days’ time. Speaking to German radio, he said: “We need a government that can act. With a weak negotiating partner, there’s the danger than the negotiations will turn out badly for both sides… I expect more uncertainty now.” – Telegraph

Nigel Farage hints at return to politics fearing Labour-led coalition will trigger second EU referendum

Britain is “staring down the barrel of a second referendum”, Nigel Farage has warned as he indicated that he is prepared to make a comeback as Ukip leader. Mr Farage said that Mr Nuttall, the current Ukip leader, had not had enough time to establish himself and that Ukip’s organisation has been “weak”. It came after a disastrous night for Ukip, which haemhorrhaged voters to both the Conservatives and Labour… Asked if he would make a comeback to frontline politics if Brexit is at risk, he said: “I would have absolutely no choice but to do exactly that.” – Telegraph

Andrew Lilico: Even if Theresa May resigns, the Conservative plan for Brexit won’t change

There is no material opposition within the Conservative Party to Theresa May’s Brexit plan. Everyone agrees we should be trying to secure a new deep trade deal with the EU and almost all agree we should be making our own trade deals outside. Almost all the opposition has been to her tactics, not her objectives… If, say, Boris Johnson were to replace May, all 12 points of her Brexit plan would remain the same. It’s just that he might try a different way to secure them. The personnel might change, but the goal would be the same. Article 50 has been triggered. The die is cast. – Andrew Lilico for the Telegraph (£)

Brexit in brief

  • Financial services must be protected under Brexit deal – Helen Brand for the Telegraph (£)
  • Tories would lose mandate to leave EU single market if they lose majority, suggests Brexit Secretary – Independent
  • ECB forecasts higher growth but keeps rates on hold – BBC News
  • Interest rate cut era is over, ECB boss declares – The Times (£)
  • UK stands aside as EU boosts defense – Politico
  • Europe seeks quick access to user data – BBC News