The inconclusive outcome of the UK’s general election on 8 June, which resulted in a hung Parliament, is likely to delay the imminent Brexit talks.
The election results saw the Conservatives lose 13 seats in Parliament along with their majority, whilst Labour won an additional 30 seats. Whilst Conservatives still have the highest number of seats at 318 to Labour’s 262, this result has been reported as an electoral shift away from the “hard Brexit” Theresa May seemed to be seeking a mandate for.
Brexit negotiations with the EU were due to start on 19 June, however this could be delayed up to a year now. The EU will draft a new mandate for chief negotiator Michel Barnier if Theresa May insists on discussing a new trade relationship at the same time as Britain’s divorce bill.
A senior EU diplomat has reportedly commented: “If they don’t accept the phased negotiations then we will take a year to draw up a new set of negotiating guidelines for Barnier”.