Amid doubts over the strength of Britain’s diplomatic position, Brexit Secretary David Davis will begin negotiations with his EU counterparts today in Brussels.
The shock outcome of the June 8 election saw PM Theresa May lose her parliamentary majority, sparking speculation the Tories may be forced to soften their hard-line Brexit stance.
Without a parliamentary majority to support her controversial Brexit strategy, May’s three main aims of leaving the single market, creating a new trade deal to replace customs union membership and withdrawing from the European Court of Justice are in danger. The prime minister could have to sacrifice or soften some of these goals to ensure domestic support.
Meanwhile, the EU’s position has strengthened in the wake of renewed economic growth and the weakening of the Eurosceptic movement, which was dealt a major blow by the election of pro-EU Emmanuel Macron in France.
Unless an extension is agreed upon, Britain and the European Union must formalise their divorce by March 29, 2019. With uncertainty emanating from London, the talks will be complex and highly politicised.