Britain's May vows to stay on despite election blow

Gladys Abbott
June 10, 2017

This was the theme of the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP) and its Trump-like leader Nigel Farage-who had a brief moment in the sun, with UKIP becoming Britain's largest party in the 2014 elections for the European Parliament, and then collapsing this year.

She insisted that she would stick to the Brexit timetable. "It remains vital we secure the best possible deal for the sector during what will be a turbulent period of political and constitutional change".

Only marginally short of the magic figure, Theresa May has the option of accepting support from the 10-member Northern Ireland Unionists but that support will only come at a price which she may willy nilly have to accept.

(May) "I have just been to see her majesty the Queen and I will now form a government".

With no official reaction yet from other senior figures in Brussels or in national capitals, one European Union official said it was too early to speculate on how the bloc would react to a change in Britain's demands for its withdrawal in 2019 or whether plans for negotiations to open in 10 days would be put on hold. When voters stunned him and Europe by voting to leave, he resigned, leaving May to deal with the mess.

At some point, a British prime minister will have to decide whether to exit on awful terms that will be devastating for Britain, or just scrap Brexit and stay in. She would then be called upon to prove her majority on the floor of the House of Commons possibly after the Queen's address is through on June 19.

Donald Tusk, president of the European Council, added: "We don't when Brexit talks start". So what was already a very, very onerous task, I think, has just become much, much more hard.

NIA chief executive Tom Greatrex said: "This election was called to resolve the direction of Brexit but its outcome has cast serious doubt over the future". But even that arrangement seemed shaky. In the other four instances minority governments were able to survive as a result of agreements with other parties.

In May's camp, recriminations were immediate and stinging.

In a statement, UJS representatives expanded, saying, "Many Jewish students will have concerns regarding parties' positions towards certain issues, particularly the Labour Party's handling of antisemitism and its leadership's past support for groups committed to Israel's destruction, but we hope that whichever party governs our country following this General Election will continue to safeguard a thriving Jewish student life on all United Kingdom campuses, including but not limited to taking a strong stand against antisemitism". "Our leader needs to take stock as well".

Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party managed to clinch 261 seats.

Outwardly, May showed no signs of yielding to that pressure on Friday. He ruled out the potential for deals or pacts with other progressive parties in Parliament.

More news: Sanders 'Delighted' by Corbyn's Success in UK Election

Voters were left flustered Friday by the fast-moving events.

"It's a bit of a mess", Peter Morgan, 35, said in London.

Many predicted May would soon be gone.

May wasn't the only big loser.

The result was bad news for the Scottish National Party, which lost about 20 of its 54 seats. Its casualties included Alex Salmond, one of the party's highest-profile lawmakers. Former leader Nick Clegg, a former Deputy Prime Minister, lost his Sheffield Hallam seat.

European leaders grappled with the question: what next?

Some say that remarkable win for Labour - echoed elsewhere in places with big student populations - suggests that a rise in college-age voters helped prevent a widely expected victory for Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives in Thursday's election.

"These are discussions that will be long and that will be complex. So let's not kid ourselves", he said.

EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk: "We need a government that can act".

From the start, an election called by May when polls gave her a commanding lead did not go to plan.

Last Saturday, three assailants mowed down pedestrians and launched a stabbing rampage around London Bridge, killing eight people before being shot dead by police.

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