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What does a hung parliament mean for Brexit?

Gareth Bevan 9 June 2017 No comments

Hung Parliament

The fact that Theresa May failed to secure an increased majority and ended up with a hung parliament in yesterday’s General Election has resulted in even more uncertainty as we head towards the start of Brexit negotiations.  Theresa May had hoped that calling a snap election, with the aim of increasing her majority, would strengthen her hand in the negotiations which were expected to start next week on 19th June.

At this point it is unclear whether she will try to run a minority government supported by one of the smaller parties, with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party looking the most likely option, or attempt to form a coalition government.  There is also the possibility that Jeremy Corbyn could become Prime Minister as he has indicated he will now seek to form a minority government

So what does this mean for Brexit?

Firstly, we don’t now know for certain who will be sitting at the negotiating table representing the UK.

Secondly, it could lead to a watering down of the planned “Hard Brexit” strategy Theresa May had intended to pursue.

Finally, there could be a delay to the start of the negotiations resulting in an even shorter timescale within which to agree the terms of the UK’s exit from the EU that will happen in March 2019.

EU reaction on twitter

Reaction on twitter this morning from some of the key players on the EU side include:

Michel Barnier‏  @MichelBarnier  2h2 hours ago

#Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let’s put our minds together on striking a deal

 

Donald Tusk @eucopresident  2h2 hours ago

We don’t know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end. Do your best to avoid a “no deal” as result of “no negotiations”. #GE2017

 

European Commission‏ @EU_Commission  13m

“As far as the Commission is concerned, we can open negotiations tomorrow morning”. @JunckerEU on #Brexit. We are ready. #GE2017

 

Only time will tell how this all plays out.