UK's May Faces Pressure to Soften Brexit Approach

Posted June 13, 2017

A stream of senior lawmakers entered May's No. 10 Downing St. office Sunday afternoon to learn what roles they had been given in the government.

The change was unlikely to significantly quell unrest within the party.

Michael Gove, who is back in the cabinet as environment secretary, was also present along with other notable figures from both sides of the Brexit debate, such as europhile Ken Clarke and euroskeptic Trade Secretary Liam Fox.

It is even unclear whether May will be Prime Minister by this time next week.

But rumors swirled of plots to oust May. Despite his denials, the Evening Standard claims that Johnson is preparing to mount a challenge to Theresa May's leadership. He tweeted that an article in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, headlined "Boris set to launch bid to be PM as May clings on", was "tripe". Usually, the list reflects programmes from the winning party's manifesto.

With opinion polls showing the Conservatives had a commanding lead over the opposition Labour Party, May called an early election in hopes of increasing her majority in Parliament and strengthening her position in Brexit negotiations. "He's in a permanent leadership campaign so I am not sure it qualifies as news", he said.

Those now in the process of buying or selling a home may wish to pause for several weeks until the country's future is more certain; at this moment in time it is hard to tell which party will be taking the country forward.

"It's in the week of next week, basically, is the first discussions", Davis told Sky News when asked about the practicalities of the negotiations.

President Trump's plans to visit Britain are now apparently on hold, although that may have more to do with his spat with London's mayor after a recent terrorist attack than with the results of the British election. The vote was called by May to strengthen her position ahead of talks to leave the European Union, in the end it left her weakened.

Formal Brexit talks are scheduled to start June 19.

Prime Minister Theresa May leaves Conservative Party HQ in Westminster London as her future as Prime Minister and leader of the Conservatives was being openly questioned after her decision to hold a snap election disastrously backfired
Theresa May leaves Conservative Party HQ in Westminster

May plans a clean break from the EU, involving withdrawal from Europe's single market and customs union and limits on immigration from the EU. Several have said that she seeks to concentrate too much power in her immediate circle, leaving her cabinet and parliament powerless.

An online petition in objection to the Tories and DUP forming a minority government has gathered more than 300,000 signatures.

Brussels has insisted that talks on the so-called divorce, taking in issues including the fee the United Kingdom will have to pay to sever its ties, must make sufficient progress before any discussion on a future trade agreement could begin.

The alliance makes some modernizing Conservatives uneasy.

Critics of a deal have hit out at the DUP policies on things such as abortion laws and gay marriages, but in a media interview Fallon said: "It doesn't mean we now agree with all their views", he said.

Mrs May met the committee amid suggestions from some Conservative MPs that she would have to stand down following the disastrous election result which has resulted in the Tories seeking support from the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to prop up their Government.

The British government doesn't have long to reach a resolution.

The Brexit Secretary said the talks would take place that week, but not necessarily on the Monday due to the clash with the Queen's Speech at Westminster. By tradition, defeat on a Queen's Speech vote topples the government.

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said the Queen's Speech "remains on track".

Ratings agency Moody's and Irish Prime Minister-designate Leo Varadkar also said the election made the opportunity of a "Soft Brexit" more likely, but Davis downplayed the chances of Britain staying in the single market.