Brexit negotiations to be harder for British PM after election: London think tank

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-06-10 09:23

Brexit negotiations to be harder for British PM after election: London think tank

Britain's Primer Minister Theresa May addresses the country after Britain's election at Downing Street in London, Britain, June 9, 2017. [Photo/Agencies]

LONDON - Brexit negotiations will be more difficult for British Prime Minister Theresa May following the general election results, a think-tank expert said Friday.

Dr Robin Niblett, director of Chatham House in London, said May's Conservative party still contains fierce Brexiteers who will challenge every concession, but the proportion of her MPs who voted to Remain and who want a pragmatic Brexit is higher than expected.

"The net effect of these conflicting pressures is likely to be the search for a pragmatic deal with the EU that can pass the threshold of a significant majority across the whole parliament and not just in the Conservative Party," added Niblett.

He said May was chosen by the Conservative Party last autumn to be the safe pair of hands that would navigate Britain through the difficult waters of Brexit.

"In the end, the Conservative Party has lost its outright majority, and has had to rely on gains in Scotland to secure a working majority in a hung parliament," he said.

Niblett said: "Having made Brexit the rationale for the election, she nevertheless made no effort during the campaign to explain how she would manage the negotiation or what a successful deal would look like."

May has said that she will begin to form her government, with the support of the DUP (Democratic Unionists Party).

"But she now has to turn her focus immediately back to the Brexit negotiations while presiding over an angry and restive party and with serious doubts as to whether she will lead the party into the next election, whenever it takes place," he said.

"To be acceptable domestically, this deal must minimize the economic risks inherent in Brexit and not put parliament in a position where it is forced to test Theresa May's proposition that 'no deal is better than a bad deal'."

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