9 June 2017

15.00- Polish Europe Minister: The Brits seem unsure about Brexit

Speaking to the Financial Times, Poland’s Europe Minister Konrad Szymanski said, “It looks like the Brits are not sure about the way Brexit should be implemented.”

He added, “A deeply divided and possibly unstable parliament makes negotiations more unpredictable. It poses a risk for a smooth and balanced result we all need.”

14.45- Bild: The UK is the election’s biggest loser

In a commentary for the German Bild, Editor-in-Chief Tanit Koch said, “The biggest loser of the election is not Theresa May, but rather the UK. The country has been divided since the referendum held a year ago, the economy is in turmoil, investments have hit rock bottom, sterling has been weakened.” She added, “Only hope: While Brexit was 99.9% certain until yesterday night, today it’s “only” 90% certain. Because who knows what this crazy country might be up to next?”

14.00- Tusk congratulates May

In a letter, EU Council President Donald Tusk congratulated Theresa May on her reappointment as Prime Minister. He said, “Our shared responsibility and urgent task now is to conduct the negotiations on the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union in the best possible spirit, securing the least disruptive outcome for our citizens, businesses and countries after March 2019. The timeframe set by Article 50 of the Treaty leaves us with no time to lose.”

12.15pm- The view from Greece

In its live analysis of the General Election, Greek daily Kathimerini says, “PM Theresa May made successive mistakes: she called a snap election blinded by the arrogance she got from her 20% poll lead over Labour. She aimed for a clear mandate for the Brexit negotiations. Her campaign, however, was a case study for how not to conduct a campaign. It was elitist, toxic against her opponent, insecure: it didn’t convince the electorate.”

11.25am- Gabriel: The British citizens showed they won’t be played with

In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said, “The British citizens showed they won’t be played with”, adding, “The message of the election is: have fair discussions with the EU and think again about whether it’s actually good for the UK to leave the EU in these terms.”

11.15am- Austria’s Kurz sticks to EU line on importance of negotiations timetable

Austria’s Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz  said on Twitter, “[It is] important that the Brexit negotiations go ahead as planned and that we secure for the rights of the citizens.” He added, “We need a close partnership with the UK after Brexit. The EU cannot be weakened by Brexit, but we need a change of course.”

10.50am- FAZ: A vote against hard Brexit

In an editorial in the German Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung entitled, “A vote against hard Brexit”, UK Business and Finance Correspondent Marcus Theurer argues, “The British electorate gave politicians in London two important messages: First, Theresa May did no receive the “hard Brexit” mandate she wanted, which would bring with itself significant economic risks.. Second, this result is a rebellion against the societal status quo in Great Britain.”

Elsewhere in the FAZ, in an commentary entitled “Mayday” Klaus-Dieter Frankenberger argues, “It is a disaster for Theresa May, who promised the voters strength and stability, and for the party.” He added that the price of the PM’s miscalculation will be high for the UK.

10.40am- Le Monde: A cruel spring for Theresa May

In an editorial entitled, “A cruel spring for Theresa May”, French daily Le Monde argues, “The outcome of the vote is confused, hesitant, reflecting the UK’s situation vis-à-vis the EU. Why leave a Union that the Brits have contributed to shaping in their image to such an extent? How not be struck by the stupidity of the upcoming negotiation with Brussels, which involves, for London, doing everything in order to preserve as many ties as possible with the EU?”

The article, however, concludes, “In the upcoming Brexit talks, which will need to be opened one day, it is in no-one’s interest to try and take advantage of this bad political patch the Brits have hit. Between democracies, one respects the free expression of popular will – even when this is indecipherable.”

10.15am – Corriere della Sera: May is no Thatcher

Time to have a look at the Italian press. La Repubblica’s home page runs with the headline, “May: the bet has failed. She loses her majority.”

Meanwhile, columnist Aldo Cazzullo writes in Corriere della Sera, “For sure, [Theresa] May is no [Margaret] Thatcher – and we saw it. A lukewarm opponent of Brexit, she turned into its most obstinate supporter once in government…Many British voters really had enough of her and of seven years of Conservative government. And perhaps they would have voted for the Labour alternative, if it had been credible. But it wasn’t.”

10.00am- Guy Verhofstadt reacts on Twitter

The European Parliament’s Brexit negotiator and Chair of the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe said on Twitter,

09.46am- Juncker: “Now it’s the UK’s turn”

In an interview with the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, President of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said, “Now it’s the UK’s turn. We’ve been ready to negotiate for months.” He added, “The UK only has one option, to get a fair deal. And there will be a deal.”

Meanwhile, EU Council President Donald Tusk said on Twitter,

09.30am- Handelsblatt examines the “five mistakes that led to disaster”

In an article called “The next shock election- this time for Theresa May”, the German Handelsblatt examines how the PM miscalculated her chances at the General Election, “like her predecessor David Cameron at the Europe question.”

09.22am- Barnier reacts

In the first official reaction from the other side of the Brexit negotiating table, the EU Commission’s Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted,

08.49am- Weber: EU is united, UK is split

EPP Chair Manfred Weber tweeted, “The clock for Brexit is ticking. Therefore the UK needs a government that can negotiate. The date of the negotiations is now unclear.”

He added,

08.42am- French PM Philippe says result does not indicate shift on Brexit

In an interview with Europe 1 radio, French PM Édouard Philippe said “I don’t believe that one should read into [the result] as a shift in the position expressed by the British over Brexit.” He added, “We always thought these [Brexit] discussions wouldn’t be simple. In fact, they will be long and complex.”

08.38am- German EU Commissioner reacts

Günther Oettinger, Germany’s EU Commissioner for Budget & Human Resources, said in an interview on German radio, “We [the EU] are ready… It remains to be seen in the next hours whether the other negotiating side can start too, because without a government there is no negotiation.”

08.20am- Reactions from Europe start pouring in.

Journalist of Das Bild Nikolaus Blome tweeted, “History can be fair: The Tories drove the country with lies to Brexit. Now they lie in ruins. #mexit”

Meanwhile, Chair of the Kiel Institute for World Economy told the German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine, “The election outcome is an acknowledgement of Theresa May’s populist rhetoric, her missing strategy for Brexit, and the elections she called driven by power calculations.”

Elmar Brok, Brexit spokesperson for EPP in the European Parliament and MEP for Merkel’s CDU, said in the German Die Welt, “[May’s] authority in her own party has broken down. She would make a weak Prime Minister and negotiator.”