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Don't waste time, European Union Brexit chief Michel Barnier tells Britain

13 June 2017

Pulling together a government is proving to be quite the headache for Theresa May.

According to sources, Tuesday's discussions are likely to focus on the government's legislative plans for the year ahead as well as the upcoming Brexit negotiations due to begin on 19 June and their particular implications for Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland and trade.

Asked whether Trump had spoken to May about postponing his trip to London, which remains unscheduled, White House spokesman Raj Shah said Sunday: "The president has tremendous respect for Prime Minister May".

"The Taoiseach is right to express concerns about any deal between the DUP and the Tory party".

And as May contends with the disappointing result of Thursday's election, there are murmurs of mutiny within her own Conservative Party.

Under the confidence and supply arrangement being mooted by the Tories and the DUP, the Northern Irish party's 10 MPs would lend its support to the Government for key votes - such as passing the Budget and the Queen's Speech.

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"The danger is that however much any government tries they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties", he told BBC radio.

As the Good Friday Agreement clearly noted, the signatories to the agreement affirmed 'that whatever choice is freely exercised by a majority of the people of Northern Ireland, the power of the sovereign government with jurisdiction there shall be exercised with rigorous impartiality on behalf of all the people'.

After attending the Prime Minister's political cabinet on Monday, she told BBC News: "I'm suggesting that the Conservative Party works with those both within the House of Commons and with people without to ensure that as we leave the European Union we have a Brexit that works for the economy and puts that first".

Even senior Tories like the leader of the Scottish Conservatives, one of their few success stories at the moment, told us yesterday "it can't just be a Tory Brexit".

Theresa May's disastrous election result has thrown the Brexit negotiations into question with no clear sense of when they will begin or what sort of Brexit and future relationship the United Kingdom is now seeking.

In contrast, managing to narrow its popularity gap with the Tories bit by bit in major polls during the run-up to the snap election, the Labor, under Jeremy Corbyn, made a significant breakthrough and took 262 seats, up an impressive 32 seats from the previous election.

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But May faces a hard balancing act: Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU.

They hope to force May to make concessions on immigration, the customs union and the single market, the newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The prime minister's spokesperson on Monday said, "Our position is clearly set out, it is clearly set out in a number of places and there has been no change to that". As this article is being penned, the Tories are in negotiations with the DUP, Democratic Unionist Party, to form a minority government.

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday was heading into hard talks with a hardline Northern Irish party on securing a working majority after a crushing electoral setback.

Her performance was roundly praised by Conservative MPs.

British Prime Minister Theresa May sits with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as she holds the first Cabinet meeting of her new team inside 10 Downing Street, in London, Monday June 12, 2017.

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But the European Union wants to take each issue one at a time - meaning that talks on trade will not start for "several months", according to Mr Barnier.