There seems to be a scent of schadenfreude among some EU figures over Theresa May's devastating defeat in Britain's general election
There’s been a mixed response from Brussels over Britain’s general election result.
Speaking during a visit to Prague, the European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said the ball remains firmly in Britain’s court.
“I do strongly hope that Britain will stay ready to open negotiations, as far as the commission is concerned we can open negotiations tomorrow morning at half past nine, so we are waiting for visitors coming from London. I hope that we will not experience a further delay in the conclusion of these negotiations,” said Juncker.
Sentiments shared in tweets from European Council President Donald Tusk and the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier who both urged Britain to do what it must to get round the talks table.
theresa_may</a>. Our responsibility now is to secure least disruptive <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Brexit?src=hash">#Brexit</a>. No time to lose. <a href="https://t.co/bOOzzwr82k">https://t.co/bOOzzwr82k</a></p>— Donald Tusk (eucopresident) June 9, 2017
#Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let’s put our minds together on striking a deal— Michel Barnier (@MichelBarnier) June 9, 2017
But there was a more despairing note from some MEPs like Liberal and Democrat alliance leader Guy Verhofstadt who expressed frustration over what he described as a needless delay in the process.
Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex negotiations even more complicated.— Guy Verhofstadt (@GuyVerhofstadt) June 9, 2017
The EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, urged a note of caution: “Our British friends have gone to the polls, one year after the referendum we still don’t know the British position in the negotiations on Brexit and it seems difficult to predict when we will, because democracy often requires time.”
In short, there’s not much sympathy for Theresa May and there’s no doubt some relief that she will have less room to cut a deal under pressure from pro-Brexit factions.