Hopes rise for softer Brexit after poll shock

Hopes rise for softer Brexit after poll shock

It was a surprise move - Mr Gove was sacked as justice minister by Mrs May past year after his bid to become party leader forced now-foreign minister Boris Johnson from the race, amid accusations of treachery and political backstabbing.

"The people of Britain have had a bellyful of promises and politicking", he wrote in The Sun tabloid. "Now is the time for delivery - and Theresa May is the right person to continue that vital work".

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire said the Queen's Speech "remains on track".

But since coming to power three weeks after the shock vote to leave the European Union, the prime minister has advocated a hard Brexit, which would entail Britain leaving the single market and cutting immigration from the bloc.

And a softer Brexit could see the United Kingdom remaining part of the Single Market and making payments into European Union budgets - accepting the "four freedoms" of movement of goods, services, capital and people.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said May's government lacked the credibility necessary for Brexit talks and should delay the negotiations.

"It's in the week of next week, basically, is the first discussions", Davis told Sky News when asked about the practicalities of the negotiations.

Talks are due to start next Monday between government ministers and the European Union to start formal negotiations for Britain's departure from the EU.

Some say her failure means the government must now take a more flexible approach to the divorce, potentially softening the exit terms.

The British PM was forced to relinquish her two closest aides - joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill - as she struggled to reassert her authority. Davis, speaking to the BBC in a separate interview, said the election was disappointing but said May was a "formidable prime minister".

British Prime Minister Theresa May gives a speech at 10 Downing Street after meeting with the Queen in London, Britain on June 9, 2017.

The gamble failed, with the Conservative party losing its strong polling lead over the course of the campaign.

May now risks more opposition to her Brexit plans from inside and outside her party, though a party source said leading the Conservatives was seen as too much of a poisoned chalice for her to face an immediate challenge.

Given that the public has clearly shifted to the left, it didn't make sense for the Tories to form an alliance with a socially conservative party in Ireland. "I don't think we should talk about some prolongation of the deadline", said the Czech prime minister, Bohuslav Sobotka.

To stay in power, the Conservatives are seeking support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said on Sunday that the plans were unchanged but added it was "very, very important that we're careful about the existing trade that we do with Europe, about access to the single market".

He stressed he did not share their ultra-conservative views on issues such as abortion and homosexuality, which have caused disquiet among many Conservatives.

May now stands accused of throwing the peace process into jeopardy by forming an alliance with the DUP at a time when London and Dublin are supposed to be neutral in finding a way to break the impasse of the forming of a Northern Ireland Executive.

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