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European politicians hope for softer Brexit following the UK's General Election result

European politicians hope for softer Brexit following the UK's General Election result

British Prime Minister Theresa May won the country's snap election, but she lost her parliamentary majority.

Confident of a sweeping victory, Mrs May had called the snap election to strengthen her hand in the European Union divorce talks.

European Union leaders expressed fears that May's shock loss of her majority would delay the Brexit talks, due to begin on June 19, and so raise the risk of negotiations failing. Youngsters and elderly joined together yesterday, 'which made them possible to conquer 261 seats compared to the 318 of the ruling Conservative Party.

The British Labour Party, led by Jeremy Corbyn, is set to gain seats following the British election, according to exit polls. European officials are anxious that the weaker position of the Conservatives make a breakdown in negotiations more likely.

"I assume that Britain, from what I heard from the Prime Minister today, wants to stick to its negotiating plan", Merkel told a news conference alongside President Enrique Pena Nieto.

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Conservative member of parliament Anna Soubry was the first in the party to disavow May in public, calling on the prime minister to "consider her position".

Conservative supporters also said Brexit had been the most important factor in their decision, as did Liberal Democrat voters.

The former shadow chancellor labelled it an "OK result" after Mr Corbyn's party secured a higher-than-expected 262 seats and significantly boosted its vote share.

Kai Ryssdal: I think we ought to start probably, with a definition of terms here, as to what happens now with Brexit.

May said she could rely in parliament on the support of her "friends" in Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party after her governing Conservatives failed to emerge as clear winners.

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Ryssdal: Yeah, well help me understand then Stephen, why the electorate that voted for Brexit a year ago - and granted it was close, 52 to 48 - but a year ago, they voted for it, and now they've denied Theresa May the stronger mandate for that Brexit.

Facing rising inflation, a slowing United Kingdom economy and the uncertainty that Brexit has caused, the Bank of England now has to deal with another form of political uncertainty, in the form of Theresa May's makeshift coalition with the UDP.

"The big picture is that political uncertainty could take weeks or months to be resolved and it is likely to weigh on both financial markets (in particular the pound) and the economy", said Paul Hollingsworth, economist at Capital Economics in London. "We know when they must end".

Although Theresa May acted like it was business as usual as she made her way back to number 10, calls are growing from within her own party for her to step down, as many believe she has waged a awful campaign and has lost her credibility as a leader.

The Conservatives remain the largest party in Britain, but now face the prospect of a hung parliament.

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One senior backbencher told the BBC that she had appeared "contrite and genuine but not on her knees". She added: "The mandate given to us by the people will be used responsibly".

But Mr Corbyn said: "We will put forward our point of view, and we are of course ready to serve".


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