Britain-EU Brexit talks to start Monday as planned

Posted June 18, 2017

As measures are now underway by the Prime Minister Theresa May to form a new government with the support of the once unknown DUP party in Northern Ireland, serious questions are being raised about the capability such a brokered coalition deal can have on the Brexit negotiations along with the ability to sustain and navigate a 5 year term of national governance.

"The subjects we need to deal with are extraordinarily complex from a technical, judicial and financial point of view", Michel Barnier, the EU's chief negotiator, warned earlier this week. "I think it's unlikely there will be any announcement today", a DUP spokesman told AFP. Her Conservative Party called such an arrangement "necessary" in its election manifesto.

A lackluster campaign saw her high approval rating slip away, and support for her "hard Brexit" strategy - pulling out of the European single market and customs union - now hangs in the balance.

Perhaps the only the central bank in the world to have been delighted by last year's vote for Brexit was Kazakhstan's.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, echoing remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, said the door to Europe remained open to Britain, and it was up to the British people whether they wanted to change their minds about leaving the EU.

The EU says Britain can not block EU migrants but also retain the privilege of being a full member of the EU single market.

"It's passing quicker than anyone believes".

European leaders' biggest concern, however, is that Britain's political chaos is wasting time that could be used to negotiate.

Asked about Mr Verhofstadt's comments, European Commission spokesman Alexander Winterstein played down suggestions of a change in the UK's status, telling reporters: "The UK is a member of the European Union and will remain so until it leaves, so that is where we are".

While the DUP are deeply eurosceptic, they have balked at some of the practical implications of a so-called hard Brexit - including a potential loss of a "frictionless border" with the Republic of Ireland - and talks will touch on efforts to minimize the potential damage to Northern Ireland.

Glenn Vaughan, head of the British Chamber of Commerce in Brussels, said the Brexit talks must be conducted in a way to cause the least possible harm to the British as well as European economy. Even if politics has been extraordinarily volatile over the past year, a reversal of the Brexit vote - which would nearly certainly need another referendum - has an nearly negligible chance of occurring.

They would not form a coalition.

However, putting the pro-British unionist DUP in a position of influence in London could also undermine the British government's ability, enshrined in a 1998 peace agreement, to function as an impartial broker between Northern Ireland's unionists and its Catholic Irish nationalists.

Irish republican party Sinn Fein added to the pressure on May yesterday.

European Union leaders, who will meet May at a summit next Thursday, have been irritated by her repeated threats to walk out with "no deal" - even if most see that as a campaigning bluff given the chaos it would cause.