European Union hopes Brexit talks can stick to timeline

"They agreed to have further contact at technical level this week".

Formal Brexit talks are due to begin on 19 June, the same day as the Queen's speech, at which point it will be known whether May has secured the support of a majority of MPs for her policy agenda.

It came as the European Commission's chief negotiator warned that Britain risks crashing out of the EU with no deal if it wastes any more of the time available for Brexit negotiations. "But obviously while also asserting the interests of the 27 member states that will make up the European Union in future", she added.

The agency, quoting two unnamed sources from the meeting, said May told lawmakers that she was the one "who got us into this mess" and that she was the "one who will get us out of it". "May has known about the sequencing of talks since last September". The House of Lords will also resist a Conservative-negotiated Brexit deal - not least because of May's approach. "I hope the interlocutor will be fully aware".

"It's an open question as to what we can get", he said.

Locals in the province and experts on NI politics have argued that the DUP's suddenly elevated presence in Westminster undermines the British Government's obligation to be a neutral moderator between unionist and nationalist groups in Stormont. "They want to do it first, we want to do it first", Davis said in an interview with BBC Radio 4's Today program.

Shadow Brexit Secretary Sir Keir Starmer said the Government was wrong to take the option off the table.

Carolyn Fairbairn, director-general of the Confederation of British Industry, said the government could not expect British workers to replace European Union nationals at a time when employment in Britain is already at record high levels. Martin Selmayr, Juncker's powerful chief of staff, suggested May had made her aides the fall guys for her own failures.

There could also be a one-year extension of the formal two-year divorce talks, a senior MEP said, insisting that European negotiators "do not want the United Kingdom to be in a worse position" after Brexit.

Graham Brady, the chairman of the Tory backbench 1922 Committee and one of the party's key power-brokers, insisted that there was no appetite among MPs for an immediate leadership challenge which could see them plunged into another general election.

It was another humiliation for May, and a sign that the socially conservative DUP, with its strong focus on Northern Ireland's specific political complexities, will not necessarily be a compliant partner for her minority government. Since Northern Ireland, which voted against Brexit a year ago, is a net recipient of European Union subsidies, the DUP would like the "ability to opt-into European Union funds where proven to be cost-effective and add value".

Some involved in the Irish peace process are alarmed at any alliance between Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives and the DUP because the Good Friday peace accords call for the British government to be neutral in the politics of Northern Ireland.

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