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Theresa May
Theresa May

May Scrambles for Deal to Stay in Power

After a tumultuous week that pitched Britain into its deepest political crisis since the Brexit referendum a year ago, May’s future is uncertain, darkened by her botched gamble on a snap election and muted response to a deadly fire in London

May Scrambles for Deal to Stay in Power

Britain is likely to enter arduous talks on its exit from the European Union without a deal to keep Prime Minister Theresa May in power, as negotiations with a Northern Irish “kingmaker” party grind into a second week.
After a tumultuous week that pitched Britain into its deepest political crisis since the Brexit referendum a year ago, May’s future was uncertain, darkened by her botched gamble on a snap election and muted response to a deadly fire in London, Reuters reported.
Fighting for her political survival, May has been trying to strike a deal with a small Northern Irish Protestant party to avoid a second election that could delay Brexit talks and damage the $2.5 trillion economy.
While she is ultimately expected to reach a deal, a source in the Democratic Unionist Party told Reuters that an agreement to support her minority government was not likely before next week. The price of such a deal remains unclear.
“If there is the expected positive outcome, it will be at least the start of next week before anything is signed off,” a DUP source told Reuters.
Having lost a majority in parliament, May needs the DUP’s 10 lawmakers to win any kind of vote, including on the pieces of legislation needed to enact Britain’s divorce from the EU.
When asked if a deal was in the making, DUP leader, Arlene Foster, told reporters in Dublin: “I think you know it takes two to tango and we’re ready to dance.”
Foster later said it was “right and proper” for the DUP to support May’s legislative program, which is due to be announced next week and will be the first formal test of her ability to govern.
A source in May’s Conservative Party said talks continued on Friday. The party has refused to give a time frame for reaching a deal, though May is due in Brussels for an EU summit on June 22-23 when she will want to show she has a solid grip on power.
Besides forging a deal to keep her job and preparing for Brexit talks, May is grappling with a crisis over the breakdown in power-sharing between the pro-British DUP and the Catholic nationalist Sinn Fein party in Northern Ireland’s separate, devolved government.

  “Sensible Brexit”
May wants to negotiate the divorce and the future trading relationship with the EU before Britain leaves in March 2019, followed by what she calls a phased implementation process to give business time to prepare for the impact of the divorce.
But her vulnerability at home means that her plan to leave the EU’s lucrative single market and customs union in order to impose strict limits on immigration is under intense scrutiny.
Britain’s Brexit ministry said on Friday that no deal could be struck on exiting unless the future relationship with the bloc was taken into account.
EU leaders have given chief Brussels negotiator, Michel Barnier, no authority to so much as talk about future trade with Britain until he clinches outline deals on Brussels’ priority issues, including London’s exit bill.
Addressing her party on Monday after one of its most memorable electoral failures, May said she would take a broader, more consultative approach to the Brexit talks.
But after a generation of discord over Europe inside her party, May’s future could depend on her ability to please both the euroskeptic and pro-European factions in her party.

 

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