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Brexit forever? How Theresa May's failed election gamble changes Brexit

10 June 2017

May called the snap election in April in an attempt to extend her majority and strengthen her position, but her gamble backfired spectacularly after she failed to win enough seats to form a Conservative government.

Immediately after the result, which is termed a "hung" parliament because no party has an outright majority, Conservative leader Theresa May said she would try to form a government, likely involving deals with more minor players, such as Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

"Our two parties have enjoyed a strong relationship over many years and this gives me the confidence to believe that we will be able to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom". The Labour party, who surged from 20 points behind, won 261 seats.

Brexit was seen as a key issue in the campaign but, if anything, the election has left Britain's preparations for negotiations with the bloc more uncertain.

May will meet the head of state Queen Elizabeth II at 12:30 pm and ask for permission to form a new government, according to her Downing Street office.

Meanwhile, Nigel Farage, the former U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) leader, has also called for her resignation.

After repeatedly ruling out calling a snap election, she went to the country to secure a larger majority ahead of Brexit negotiations.

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The pound tumbled the most since October as investors were confronted with another spasm of political turmoil less than a year after Britain voted to quit the European Union, its biggest trading partner.

"Certainly that's not what the Dublin government want to see, not what the London government wants to see and not what Stormont want to see".

Instead, Labour destroyed the majority handed to the Conservatives in the 2015 election.

The announcement comes as May faces calls to resign in the wake of her failed electoral gamble - an outcome that would make her the shortest-tenured prime minister in almost a century. All this support has evaporated, as the British, and predominantly English, working class, was looking for solutions for the post-Brexit reality in other parties' agenda.

With no clear victor emerging from Thursday's election, a wounded May signalled on Friday that she would fight on. MP Anna Soubry called on May to "consider her position" following "a pretty awful campaign", in which the Conservatives squandered much of a 20-point lead in the polls.

Even if the Conservatives manage to form a minority government with the help of Democratic Unionist Party MPs from Northern Ireland, it will be a highly unstable administration, as would be an informal minority coalition led by Labour.

"The UK is an extension of the Irish labour market in many ways". French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said the election shock didn't necessarily mean that Britons have changed their minds about leaving but also predicted that "the tone" of negotiations may be affected.

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Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said Sturgeon should take the prospect of a new independence referendum off the table. Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said the election outcome could mean a less radical split between Britain and the EU.

The Conservatives' campaign slogan - promising "strong and stable" leadership - rarely rang true during May's rocky campaign.

At almost 69 percent, turnout for the election was the highest in 20 years, and analysts said that Labour had benefited from a strong showing from young voters.

After winning his seat back in Islington, North London, early on Friday, 68 year-old Corbyn called for May to step down. "There are no more excuses now that politicians do not need to care about the youth because they don't vote, anyway", said Afflick of the British Youth Council.

Britain has been hit with three terror attacks since March, and campaigning was twice suspended.

Party leaders were particularly upset with Corbyn and other Labour leaders' past support of Sinn Fein - a party with past ties to the IRA. Analysts say the outcome will be read as the public's resounding rejection of May's vision for a hard Brexit, denying her the clear mandate she had explicitly sought and raising questions over the position that British negotiators will adopt in the impending talks.

"We stand ready", said Mr Oettinger.

"What tonight is about is the rejection of Theresa May's version of extreme Brexit", said Keir Starmer, Labour's policy chief on Brexit, saying his party wanted to retain the benefits of the European single market and customs union.

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