Posts Tagged ‘Emmanuel Macron’

Humbled PM Theresa May hopes to reassure EU leaders at Brussels summit

June 22, 2017


© Stephane De Sakutin, AFP | Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron talk during the G7 summit in Italy on May 26, 2017.


Latest update : 2017-06-22

Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May will try Thursday to convince European leaders she can still push through Brexit despite being badly weakened by an election bet that turned sour.

The two-day Brussels summit marks the debut of French President Emmanuel Macron, the figurehead of a renewed confidence among the remaining 27 states that Britain’s withdrawal can be a fresh start.

But talks on issues including post-Brexit defence plans risk being overshadowed by concerns that a disastrous election has left May so enfeebled that Brexit negotiations will be hampered.

“There is an enormous insecurity among the Europeans: how long will she last? Has she got the majority to deliver?” a senior EU official said.

In Brussels, security has been stepped up after Tuesday’s bombing at one of the city’s main rail stations by an Islamic State sympathiser, following attacks in Britain and France.

Over dinner, May is expected to fill in some of the blanks for the other EU leaders on Brexit.

It will be their first meeting since her Conservative party unexpectedly lost its majority in a June 8 election, leaving her in charge of a so-called “zombie government“.

Britain’s shock referendum vote to leave the EU was a year ago on Friday, and the country remains in a dark national mood after a string of terror attacks and a deadly tower block blaze.

May citizens offer

“The PM will give an update to the other member states on the UK’s Brexit plans following the beginning of the negotiations this week,” a Downing Street spokesman said.

During the dinner May will “outline some principles of the UK’s paper on citizens rights which will be published at the beginning of next week,” the spokesman said.

The EU has made a priority of the rights of three million European citizens living in Britain, plus a million Britons resident in Europe.

At the first formal Brexit negotiations Monday, Britain accepted the EU’s timetable that the exit bill, citizens’ rights and the Northern Ireland border be settled before its request for a free trade deal be considered.

EU diplomatic sources said May will try to keep it simple, with no discussion.

“We believe that the warming-up round of last Monday did create a positive atmosphere … I don’t think that May will want to shatter that understanding,” said one EU diplomatic source, who asked not to named.

After her comments, May will leave the room for the remaining 27 EU member states to discuss what she has told them, and the future relocation of key EU agencies from London.

‘Turning the corner’

EU President Donald Tusk said the bloc appeared to have survived the worst of the anti-EU sentiment which drove Britain’s shock vote to leave exactly a year to the day on Friday.

“The current developments on the continent seem to indicate that we are slowly turning the corner,” the former Polish premier wrote in his invitation letter.

His upbeat assessment follows a series of election setbacks for populist and eurosceptic parties, including French far-right leader Marine Le Pen, who lost heavily to newcomer Macron in last month’s presidential poll.

Macron has joined forces with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, pledging to put a post-Brexit EU back on track to deliver prosperity and security after years of austerity and crisis.

Macron and Merkel are expected to recommend another six-month rollover of tough economic sanctions imposed in 2014 against Russia over the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has claimed 10,000 lives.

The French and German leaders will brief their peers on the Minsk ceasefire process, which has seen continued clashes between Kiev forces and Russian-backed rebels.

Tusk and European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker are also expected to report on recent meetings with US President Donald Trump.

Trump’s “America First” approach and dismissive remarks about the EU and NATO have and bolstered calls for the European Union to take on an increased defence role, while his decision to pull out of the Paris climate pact infuriated Europe.

The EU leaders will also discuss plans to push internet firms to clamp down on online extremism, and Europe’s migration crisis.

French defence minister quits over new EU fake jobs inquiry

June 20, 2017


© Bertrand Guay, AFP | Former French defence minister Sylvie Goulard during a ceremony in the Paris suburb of Suresnes on June 18, 2017.


Latest update : 2017-06-20

French Defence Minister Sylvie Goulard announced her resignation on Tuesday over a fake jobs scandal that has hit her small centrist MoDem party, allied with President Emmanuel Macron’s party.

Goulard, who was previously a member of the European Parliament, said she could not remain in the government while there was a possibility that she could be investigated over alleged misuse of expenses at that parliament.

Her resignation comes as Macron carries out a minor reshuffle of his government following parliamentary elections on Sunday which handed him and his allies MoDem a commanding majority.

François Bayrou, Justice Minister, Marielle de Sarnez, State Sec for EU, are both cited in the case & could be forced to step down.

“Old” politics coming back to bite Rep. en Marche! And a real question of the usefulness/efficiency of ex ante verification…

Goulard had only been in the defence job for a month following Macron’s election to the presidency.

But she said the possibility of an investigation made it difficult for her to stay in the post given Macron’s agenda to clean up politics.

“The president is committed to restoring confidence in public office, reforming France and relaunching Europe,” she said in a statement.

“This reform agenda must take precedence over any personal considerations.

“That is why I have asked the president, with the agreement of the prime minister, to leave the government.”

Earlier this month, Paris prosecutors opened a preliminary investigation into claims in the Canard Enchaine newspaper that MoDem was using European parliamentary funds to pay staff based in France.

MoDem’s leader Francois Bayrou was a key backer of Macron’s one-year-old Republic on the Move (REM) during the presidential campaign and whose support was crucial in winning centrist votes for the new president.

UK’s May Faces Calls to Soften Brexit as Political Limbo Drags On — Theresa May and DUP deal could be delayed until next week — Calls to delay Brexit talks

June 14, 2017

LONDON — British Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative party resumed talks on a deal to prop up her minority government on Wednesday as she faced a battle over her Brexit strategy just days before EU divorce talks are due to begin.

As Britain entered a sixth day of political turmoil, May’s team continued talks with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to secure their support in parliament after May failed to win a majority in Thursday’s election.

But a deadly fire at a tower block in London could delay the announcement of any deal, BBC political reporter Norman Smith said. He also said Brexit talks could possibly be delayed.

May’s botched election gamble has left her so weakened that her Brexit strategy is the subject of public debate inside her party, with two former prime ministers calling on her to soften her EU exit approach.

Following more than an hour of talks between May and DUP leader Arlene Foster on Tuesday, May said the discussion had been productive and Foster said she hoped a deal could be done “sooner rather than later”.

EU Flag in Parlament Square in London

Despite the uncertainty over her ability to govern, May had confirmed that Brexit negotiations – expected to be the most complex international talks Britain has held for decades – would begin as planned next week.

“There is a unity of purpose among people in the United Kingdom,” May said following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

“It’s a unity of purpose, having voted to leave the EU, that their government gets on with that and makes a success of it.”

But pressure was mounting for May to change course on the type of Brexit Britain should pursue.

The Times newspaper said finance minister Philip Hammond would push May not to leave the customs union – an arrangement which guarantees tariff-free trade within the bloc but prohibits members from striking third-party trade deals.

The report cited unnamed sources, and the finance ministry declined to comment.

Nevertheless, it illustrated the challenge May will face in the remaining days before the EU divorce talks begin: finding a position that satisfies both pro-European and eurosceptic factions of her party if she wants to remain in power.

European politicians also appeared to detect a shift in the mood around Brexit, with France’s Macron saying the door was open until the negotiations had concluded for Britain to remain a member of the EU. Once done, however, Brexit would be difficult to reverse.


May has given no indication she will change course on the key elements of Brexit; but whatever her plan she will be heavily reliant upon the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who would help her edge past the 326 votes needed in parliament to avoid the government collapsing.

However, a deal with the DUP also risks destabilizing Northern Ireland by increasing the influence of pro-British unionists. They have struggled for years with nationalists, who want the British province to join a united Ireland.

Former Prime Minister John Major said he was concerned May’s plan to govern with the support of the DUP could pitch the province back into turmoil by persuading ‘hard men’ on both sides of the divide to return to violence.

Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein said the prospect of a British agreement with the DUP was causing anxiety and fear.

While the DUP are deeply eurosceptic, they have balked at some of the practical implications of a so-called hard Brexit — including a potential loss of an open border with the Republic of Ireland — and talks will touch on efforts to minimize the potential damage to Northern Ireland.


Brexit minister David Davis has insisted the approach to the EU divorce has not changed, but May has recognized that a broader consensus needs to be built for Brexit and has made clear she would listen to all wings of the party on the issue.

She will have to manage conflicting demands from within her own party, including a proposal for business groups and lawmakers from all parties to agree a national position.

“We would restore faith in politics if we could show that this parliament can at least function in presenting a view in the national interest which would command a majority on a cross party basis,” said pro-European Conservative lawmaker Ken Clarke.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron said May needed to listen to rival political parties, and that there would be pressure for a softer Brexit that would give greater priority to a close trading deal with the EU.

Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, Major and Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU.

The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions of Brexit. Data on Wednesday showed average weekly pay in the three months to April fell by 0.4 percent on the year in inflation-adjusted terms – the biggest fall since the three months to September 2014.

As European leaders tried to fathom exactly how Britain would begin the negotiations, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Germany wanted a Brexit deal that would limit negative consequences for the bloc but also did not want it to weaken Britain.

The veteran conservative predicted that Britain would regret its departure from the bloc at some point in the future.

(Additional reporting by Alistair Smout and Elisabeth O’Leary; Editing by Guy Faulconbridge and Ralph Boulton)



Theresa May and DUP deal could be delayed until next week

BBC News

Arlene Foster and Theresa May

DUP sources have told the BBC an announcement on a deal with Tories has been delayed because of the unfolding tragedy of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

The two sides were close to reaching agreement to enable Theresa May to form a minority government and the talks were not in trouble, the sources added.

But they added that the London tower block fire made an announcement on Wednesday “inappropriate”.

And diary commitments meant a final deal could be delayed until next week.

The DUP source told BBC assistant political editor Norman Smith the two parties were now finalising the “terms and conditions” of an agreement after Mrs May and DUP leader Arlene Foster met on Tuesday.

Downing Street sources told our correspondent talk of a delay in announcing a deal was “not coming from us.”

If a deal was to be delayed it would mean the Queen’s Speech, which had originally been planned for next Monday, could be delayed by at least a week.

It could also delay the start of Brexit talks.

The Conservatives are having to rely on the support of 10 DUP MPs after they fell eight seats short of winning an overall majority at the general election.

It means that Mrs May will remain as prime minister and the DUP MPs will be central to the survival of a Conservative Party administration.

What’s in the deal?

Arlene Foster and the 10 MPs Theresa May hopes will keep them in power
Arlene Foster and the 10 MPs Theresa May hopes will keep them in power. Reuters photo

By BBC Northern Ireland political editor Mark Devenport

The DUP have been playing their cards close to their chest, but we know the areas they’re talking about because of a DUP plan drawn up in 2015 in anticipation of a hung Parliament.

Things have moved on a bit since then with Brexit, but we do know they’re looking at trying to lower the cost to the Northern Ireland executive of any move on corporation tax.

They’ve been of the view that leaving the EU should lessen some of the stipulations in relation to state aid that were being applied by the Treasury to Northern Ireland, and that might take down the bill that the Treasury would put on the executive if corporation tax was lowered.

We know other matters, such as cutting air passenger duty and increased infrastructure spending, have been discussed, but we haven’t got any sense of the exact details of the deal.

I suspect it will be top loaded with economic rather than political matters.

Some political issues, such as altering the definition of a Troubles victim or doing away with allowances for MPs who don’t take up their seats, might be included.

Other legacy matters, such as protecting former soldiers or police officers from prosecution, may feature at a later stage.

The DUP will offer support for key votes, such as backing the Queen’s Speech and the Budget and opposing any votes of no confidence.

The DUP campaigned for Brexit but is also conscious that 56% of people in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the EU.

They are thought to be advocating a Brexit that does not disrupt the “frictionless border” with the Republic of Ireland.

They are also opposed to Conservative polices such as means-testing the winter fuel allowance and have campaigned for a higher National Living Wage and to restore the spare room subsidy.

The party is also likely to push for more investment in Northern Ireland, with emphasis on increased borrowing powers and looser budget controls rather than direct cash.

Prime Minister Theresa May said on Tuesday that talks with the DUP had been productive and that Brexit negotiations would begin as planned next week.

“I think there is a unity of purpose among people in the United Kingdom,” Mrs May said, following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

Theresa May and Emmanuel MacronImage copyright GETTY IMAGES

The agreement with the DUP is expected to be very different from the coalition deal agreed between the Conservatives and Lib Dems in 2010, with DUP politicians not getting cabinet jobs and their support for the majority of new legislation to be determined on a vote-by-vote basis.

Labour’s shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey called it a “very dangerous deal” and said Labour was “ready and waiting to form a minority government”.

She dismissed accusations of hypocrisy after it emerged then Labour leader Gordon Brown had tried to do a deal with the DUP in 2010, telling BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “It’s certainly not something that [current Labour leader] Jeremy [Corbyn] would advocate, and the Labour Party is certainly not advocating that.

“As I’ve said, it would create a lot of instability in terms of the peace process in Northern Ireland and it’s a very worrying time.

“It just illustrates the chaos that the Conservative Party are in at the moment.”

I am “concerned” about a deal with the DUP, says former prime minister Sir John Major

On Tuesday, ex-Conservative Prime Minister Sir John Major said he was “dubious” about the idea of a deal and its potential impact on the peace process.

Sir John told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme there was a danger the government would no longer be seen as an “impartial honest broker” in restoring the power-sharing arrangements and upholding Northern Ireland institutions.

Asked about Sir John’s comments, Mrs May said she was “absolutely steadfast” in her support for the 1998 Good Friday agreement – which created the Northern Ireland Assembly – and efforts to revive the power-sharing executive.

Theresa May Meets With Macron, Reaffirms She Will Not Compromise Over Brexit

June 14, 2017


Theresa May has signalled she will not compromise over Brexit despite growing demands for a change in approach in the wake of last week’s election result.

The Prime Minister is understood still to be determined to enter talks in Brussels next week with a threat that Britain is prepared to leave the EU without a future trading deal.

She also wishes to stick to the pre-election Conservative plan for this country to leave the single market and customs union to allow the UK to negotiate free-trade deals around the world, and control immigration.

Read the rest:


EU door remains open until UK departs, Macron tells May

Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace.

Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron at the Elysée Palace. Photograph: Yui Mok/PA

The French president called for Brexit negotiations to “start as soon as possible,” but also added that as long as the negotiations are not over, there is still a possibility to change the course of events.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, greets Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May prior to their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday. After their talks, the two leaders will watch a France-England football match at the stade de France that will honour victims of extremist attacks in both countries.

French President Emmanuel Macron, right, greets Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May prior to their meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris on Tuesday. After their talks, the two leaders will watch a France-England football match at the stade de France that will honour victims of extremist attacks in both countries.  (THIBAULT CAMUS / AP)  

PARIS—She wants to escape the European Union, he wants to embolden it. British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron held talks Tuesday from opposite sides of the Brexit front line and agreed that negotiations for Britain’s divorce from the European bloc will start next week as planned.

They also reached common ground on fighting a shared enemy: terrorism. Standing side by side in the garden of the Elysée Palace after a working dinner, the two leaders announced plans to pursue an initiative to require tech companies to better police online extremism and hold them legally liable if they fail to do so.

“We are united in our total condemnation of terrorism and our commitment to stamp out this evil,” May said.

Read more:

U.K.’s Boris Johnson says May is ‘the right person’ to continue amid calls for her resignation

Election win puts Emmanuel Macron on course to redefine European politics: Burman

Macron’s party takes strong lead in French parliamentary elections

May arrived in Paris with her leadership hobbled by a catastrophic election last week just as Britain heads into tough talks on leaving the EU.

While May struggles to hold onto power, Macron is on the ascendancy, with his year-old party set to win a huge majority in parliamentary elections Sunday. That should fortify Macron’s standing in Europe as he tries to push the remaining EU nations to stand tough in Brexit negotiations, and to unite even more closely as Britain departs.

Seeking to allay European concerns after her election setback, May reaffirmed Tuesday that “the timetable for Brexit negotiations remains on course and will begin next week.”

British officials had previously suggested they wouldn’t be able to formally start Brexit negotiations as scheduled.

Macron shakes hands with May after their joint press conference at the Elysee Presidential Palace. May met Macron to discuss the fight against radicalization and terrorism.
Macron shakes hands with May after their joint press conference at the Elysee Presidential Palace. May met Macron to discuss the fight against radicalization and terrorism.  (THIERRY CHESNOT/GETTY IMAGES)  

Macron called for the negotiations to “start as soon as possible,” but also added that the door remains open for the U.K. to remain in the European Union. From a European point of view, he said, as long as the negotiations are not over, there is still a possibility to change the course of events.

Still, he acknowledged, “the decision (to exit the EU) has been taken by the sovereign British people. I do respect that.”

The talks Tuesday also focused heavily on deepening counterterrorism co-operation, especially reducing extremist propaganda circulated online. Britain and France face similar challenges in fighting homegrown Islamic extremism and share similar scars from deadly attacks that rocked London, Manchester, Paris and Nice.

May said major internet companies have failed to live up to prior commitments to do more to prevent extremists from finding a “safe space” online. Macron urged other European countries, especially Germany, to join the effort to fight Islamic extremist propaganda on the web.

After Daesh, also known as ISIS or ISIL, recruited hundreds of French fighters largely through online propaganda, France introduced legislation ordering French providers to block certain content, but acknowledges any such effort must reach well beyond its borders. Tech-savvy Macron has lobbied for tougher European rules, but details of his plans remain unclear.

Britain already has tough measures, including a law known informally as the Snooper’s Charter, which gives authorities the powers to look at the internet browsing records of everyone in the country. Among other things, the law requires telecommunications companies to keep records of all users’ web activity for a year, creating data bases of personal information that the firms worry could be vulnerable to leaks and hackers.

Macron, May and French interior minister Gerard Collomb attend a friendly soccer match between France and England at the Stade de France in Saint Denis, north of Paris on Tuesday.
Macron, May and French interior minister Gerard Collomb attend a friendly soccer match between France and England at the Stade de France in Saint Denis, north of Paris on Tuesday.  (FRANCOIS MORI/AP)  

After their talks, May and Macron headed to the Stade de France stadium north of Paris to watch a France-England exhibition soccer match honouring victims of the recent attacks in Manchester and London. In an emotional show of support, players from both teams walked onto the field to sounds of the Oasis song “Don’t Look Back in Anger” played by the French Republican Guard. Then Macron and May joined French and British fans in singing the British national anthem “God Save the Queen,” followed by a minute of silence.

Two big screens at the stadium projected the red-and-white Cross of St. George and giant flags from both countries were rolled out onto the field.

Three attackers mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge and then stabbed people in nearby Borough Market on June 3. Eight people were killed and dozens more injured. On May 22, a man detonated a bomb as crowds were leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, killing 22 people.

France’s players were touched by the overwhelming show of support they received from England fans when they played an exhibition match at Wembley Stadium on Nov. 17, 2015 — just four days after attacks hit a Paris stadium, cafes and a rock concert, killing 130 people. England fans that night sang along with the French national anthem.

Turkey’s Erdogan slams ‘inhumane’ isolation of Qatar — “Contrary to Islamic values.”

June 13, 2017


© AFP/File | The Qatar crisis has put President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Turkey in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving relations with the key regional power Saudi Arabia

ISTANBUL (AFP) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed the economic and political isolation of Qatar as inhumane and contrary to Islamic values after key Gulf states broke off ties with Ankara’s ally.

“Taking action to isolate a country in all areas is inhumane and un-Islamic,” Erdogan said in televised comments to his party in Ankara, after Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain broke off relations with Qatar on June 5, accusing it of supporting “terrorism”.

In his strongest comments yet on the crisis, Erdogan added that Qatar was a country “on which a death sentenced had in some way been pronounced”.

The crisis has put Turkey in a delicate position as Ankara regards Qatar as its chief ally in the Gulf but is also keen to maintain its improving relations with the key regional power Saudi Arabia.

Turkey also is eager to maintain workable relations with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s foe with whom Doha’s critics say Qatar maintained excessively close ties.

Erdogan added he would hold three-way phone talks on the crisis later Tuesday with French President Emmanuel Macron and Qatar’s emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

The move by Saudi and its allies came shortly after US President Donald Trump visited Riyadh, with some analysts saying the US leader had emboldened the Saudi leadership.

Earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that Erdogan would hold talks on the crisis with Trump in the coming days.

Erdogan vehemently rejected the accusations — already strongly denied by Doha — that Qatar supports terrorism, arguing the country had been a staunch opponent of Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

“Qatar is a country which, like Turkey, has adopted the most resolute stance against Daesh (IS),” said Erdogan. “Let’s stop fooling ourselves.”

Striking a careful balance, Erdogan stopped short of directly criticising Saudi Arabia’s actions but called on Saudi King Salman to show leadership by solving the crisis.

“I think that as the elder statesman of the Gulf, the king of Saudi Arabia should solve this affair and show leadership,” said Erdogan.

Turkey’s parliament last week approved deploying troops to a Turkish base in Qatar in what was seen as a show of support for its embattled ally.

The agreement does not contain any specific number of troops to be stationed in the base, or when.

The curbs placed on gas-rich Qatar have ranged from bans on flag-carrier Qatar Airways using airspace of the countries involved to Saudi Arabia suspending subscription sales and renewals to a Qatar-linked sports broadcaster.

Britains’ May to holds talks with DUP to secure deal

June 13, 2017


© AFP/File | British Prime Minister Theresa May is due to hold talks with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to secure an informal alliance to prop up her minority government

LONDON (AFP) – British Prime Minister Theresa May is in for a difficult Tuesday as she is due to hold talks with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party to secure an informal alliance before meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

Coming off a bruising few days during which her future has hung in the balance, May will hope to secure a deal to prop up her minority government when she meets with Arlene Foster, the head of Northern Ireland’s ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on Tuesday morning.

May’s Conservatives unexpectedly lost their majority in parliament in last Thursday’s snap general election, causing political chaos ahead of Brexit talks with the European Union set to start next week.

 Theresa May in Cabinet
Theresa May met with members of her leadership team on Monday

The disastrous election result also prompted calls — from within her own party — for her resignation, leading May to apologise to her own MPs on Monday evening.

“I got us into this mess, and I’m going to get us out,” May told Conservatives MPs, seeking to once and for all ward off any challenge to her leadership.

Falling eight seats short of retaining its parliamentary majority, May’s Conservative party is now in talks with the DUP — which won 10 seats — to forge an informal alliance.

– ‘Positive engagement’ –

DUP leader Arlene Foster said there had been “positive engagement” so far.

“We are going into these talks with the national interest at heart,” she said on Monday.

However, the prospect of a deal between the two parties has caused disquiet, with the DUP’s anti-abortion and gay rights stance in the crosshair.

More than 735,000 people have signed a petition in three days condemning the proposed alliance, saying it is a “disgusting, desperate attempt to stay in power”.

The deal also prompted Irish premier Enda Kenny to warn that such an alliance could upset Northern Ireland’s fragile peace.

In a phone call on Sunday, Kenny told May that forming a minority government reliant on the support of the hardline DUP could pose a “challenge” to the 1998 Good Friday peace accords.

London’s neutrality is key to the delicate balance of power in Northern Ireland, which was once plagued by violence over Britain’s control of the province.

May’s office responded that the DUP deal “would provide stability and certainty for the UK going forward”.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has also sought to downplay the DUP’s future role, saying the government was not looking at a formal coalition but would seek assurances that the DUP would vote with May “on the big things”.

The crunch talks could also force the delay of the government’s presentation of its legislative programme to parliament by Queen Elizabeth II, due on June 19.

“Obviously until we have that we can’t agree the final details of the Queen’s Speech,” said May’s deputy Damian Green, referring to an agreement with the DUP.

– Changing position on Brexit –

May will then travel to Paris for a working dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron before the two leaders attend a friendly football match between England and France at the national stadium in Paris.

The prime minister had hoped to be in the French capital with a strong popular mandate for a “hard” Brexit but instead she finds herself meeting Macron enfeebled and isolated.

But “being seen to be the prime minister” could help “shore up her authority at home,” according to Colin Talbot, professor of government at the University of Manchester.

It could also be the place for May “to change her position on Brexit,” he added.

Since coming to power, May has advocated for a “hard” Brexit, which would entail Britain leaving the European single market and cutting immigration from the bloc.

Macron and May are also expected to discuss the need for closer cooperation at the European level to fight terrorism, which they discussed when they met at the G7 in Italy and at a NATO summit in Brussels late last month.

“I would expect that conversation to continue tomorrow. They may well discuss aspects of Brexit but the main focus will be on counterterrorism,” May’s spokesman said on Monday.

European stocks pushed down by tech selloff, British government’s woes

June 12, 2017

Published: June 12, 2017 5:48 a.m. ET

French President Emmanuel Macron’s upstart party won the first round of voting in parliamentary elections Sunday. Reuters photo



European stocks dropped Monday, fronted by losses in technology shares, while investors held back from buying U.K. stocks while the British government tried to sort out how it will move forward with a hung parliament.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, -1.00%  fell 1% to 386.44, with only the oil and gas sector showing a gain. Tech, consumer goods and industrial shares were losing the most.

Among key indexes, Germany’s DAX 30 DAX, -0.99% dropped 1% to 12,689.93, and France’s CAC 40 PX1, -1.17%  fell 1.1% to 5,240.57.

The Stoxx 600 Technology Index FX8, +0.25%  slid 3% after a selloff in the tech sector abruptly kicked off Friday on Wall Street and spilled over Monday into the Asian and European trading sessions. The technology bellwether Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -1.80%  tanked 1.8% on Friday, and the S&P 500 technology index plunged 2.7%.

See: Pay attention to the ominous pattern in big technology stocks

“Much of the U.S. stock market rally in 2017 has been based on the success and appetite investors have had for Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Netflix and Apple — all of which have risen by between 27% and 34% this year. How long this can be sustained remains to be seen,” said David Buik, market commentator at Panmure Gordon & Co. in a Sunday note.

Apple shares AAPL, -2.07%  fell 2% in U.S. premarket trade Monday after the tech heavyweight was downgraded for a second time in a week, with Mizuho Securities cutting its rating to buy from neutral.

In Frankfurt, Apple’s stock APC, -3.33%  slumped 5.5%.

On the Stoxx 600, Apple suppliers were hit hard. Austrian chipmaker AMS AGAMS, -8.55%   slid 7.8%, STMicroelectronics NV STM, -4.61%  sank 6.9% and Dialog Semiconductor DLG, -5.97%  moved lower by 5.4%.

In London on the benchmark FTSE 100, shares of Micro Focus International PLCMCRO, -2.96%  fell 2.7% and Sage Group PLC SGE, -2.37%  was off 2.2%. Those moves helped pushed the FTSE 100 UKX, -0.34% down 0.4% to 7,498.72.

The U.K.’s more domestically focused FTSE 250 MCX, -0.55%  also fell, losing 0.6%.

London-listed stocks struggled as investors watched developments in the British government after Thursday’s general election resulted in a hung parliament.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May was scheduled Monday to meet with rank-and-file lawmakers as she faces criticism for her decision to hold a general election that resulted her Conservative Party losing hold of the House of Commons. The snap election took place before the slated June 19 start of negotiations over Britain’s exit from the European Union, or Brexit.

Read: Questions grow over Theresa May’s future as U.K prime minister

May has been working on forming a new government with support from Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, which holds 10 seats, but no agreement has been struck yet, according to reports Monday.

May and French President Emmanuel Macron were scheduled to meet in France on Tuesday. Macron’s upstart party on Sunday won the first round of France’s parliamentary elections.


London. New Bond Street

London. New Bond Street

Macron Aims to Consolidate Power as France Elects Parliament

June 11, 2017

PARIS — French voters cast their ballots on Sunday in the first round of a parliamentary election expected to give centrist President Emmanuel Macron the strong majority needed to carry out the far-reaching economic and social reforms he promises.

The vote to elect the lower house’s 577 members comes a month after Macron, a 39-year-old former banker with little political experience, defied the odds to win the presidency of the euro zone’s second-largest economy.

Image result for france, parliament, election, photos

Electoral posters of a candidate in the parliamentary elections, in Marseille, France. AP Photo/Claude Paris

If, as polls project, Macron and his fledgling party win a commanding majority in next week’s second round, it will be another blow for the mainstream parties on the right and left which failed to get a candidate into the presidential run-off.

“We want a big majority to be able to act and transform France over the next five years,” Mounir Mahjoubi, a tech entrepreneur running under Macron’s Republic On The Move (LREM) banner told Reuters as he canvassed support in his northern Paris constituency ahead of the vote.

Opinion polls forecast LREM and its center-right Modem allies will win at least 30 percent of votes on Sunday.

The conservative The Republicans party and its allies trail with about 20 percent, ahead of the far-right National Front on about 17 percent.

Such an outcome would transform into a landslide majority in the second round, the opinion polls show.

While predicting the outcome can be tricky with 7,882 candidates vying for parliament’s seats, even LREM’s rivals have been saying they expect Macron to secure a majority.

Their strategy has been to urge voters to make sure the opposition will be big enough to have some clout in parliament. “We shouldn’t have a monopolistic party,” former prime minister Bernard Cazeneuve, a Socialist, told Reuters.


The survival of the Socialist Party, which ruled France for the past five years but is forecast to get just 15 to 30 seats, is at stake, as is the unity of The Republicans. Some key figures from both parties have rallied behind Macron.

The National Front, reeling from a worse than expected score for chief Marine Le Pen in the presidential election, could miss its target to get enough lawmakers to form a parliamentary group. It is expected though to improve on the two deputies it had in the previous legislature.

In a country with unemployment hovering near 10 percent and at risk of breaking its public deficit commitments, Macron was elected president in May on pledges to overhaul labor rules to make hiring and firing easier, cut corporate tax and invest billions in areas including job training and renewable energy.

“If we really want him to change things he needs a majority,” 67-year-old voter Irena Plewa, a pensioner, said at a bustling Paris food market.

Polling stations close at 1800 (1600 GMT) in smaller cities and two hours later in Paris and other big cities. Results will come in slowly, alongside pollsters’ estimates of the results.

Very few lawmakers are expected to be elected directly in the first round. To win, a candidate needs more than half of the votes cast and they must account for at least a quarter of the registered voters.

With many fresh faces among the candidates, a political landscape divided among many forces from the far-left to the far-right, and abstention predicted to be at over 40 percent, that is unlikely to happen in many constituencies.

(Additional reporting by Antony Paone and Michaela Cabrera; writing by Ingrid Melander; editing by Richard Lough and David Clarke)


Shock hung parliament in UK, reactions and analysis — British Prime Minister Theresa May can no longer win an outright majority in parliament

June 9, 2017


© Ben Stansall, AFP | British Prime Minister Theresa May leaves the Conservative Party HQ in central London, on June 9, 2017, hours after the polls closed in the British general election.

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-06-09

British Prime Minister Theresa May can no longer win an outright majority in parliament, calculations based on partial results of the election showed on Friday. Follow the day’s events live on FRANCE 24.

  • The UK faces a hung parliament, with the oppositon Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has calling on the prime minister to resign.
  • British pound is at a two month low in early trading.
  • May set to speak at 10am London time.
  • Brexit talks with the EU were due to begin shortly, but reports that they could de delayed in wake of vote.

Date created : 2017-06-09

Hung parliament confirmed as UK votes for chaos — Tories cannot gain a majority with Theresa May’s future left in doubt

June 9, 2017


Turnout for the election stands at 68.6 per cent, with 27 seats left to declare.

The Tories have lost seven frontbenchers, with ministers Jane Ellison, Simon Kirby, Gavin Barwell, James Wharton, Nicola Blackwood and Rob Wilson going down to defeat, along with Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer, the author of the widely criticised Tory manifesto.

Accepting victory in her constituency of Maidenhead, Theresa May said that if Conservatives had won the most seats and most votes, “it will be  incumbent on us to ensure that we have that period of stability, and that is  what we will do”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington, north London
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives at the Sobell Leisure Centre in Islington, north London CREDIT: DOMINIC LIPINSKI/PA

Senior Conservatives said this morning that she had made “fundamental strategic errors” and said that her closest aides should be “banished” from Downing Street.

They complained that the campaign had been centred around a “cult of personality” and “central control”, adding: “It has completely blown up in our face”.

One senior Tory told The Telegraph: “This is bad, it’s worse than bad. Her advisers should walk out of the door now never to return, regardless of the final result.

They should be banished forever. “Can she hang on? She [Theresa] has zero credibility if this exit poll is correct.

“The very best we can get tonight is to end up where we were. The cult of personality and central control has completely blown up in our face.”

George Osborne, the former Chancellor who was sacked by Mrs May, said that if the exit poll is accurate she would not survive.

Read the rest:


Tories cannot gain a majority with Theresa May’s future left in doubt

LIVE BLOGThe Independent will be bringing you all the live updates as the results come in for the 2017 general election

By Ashley Cowburn, Samuel Osborne Political Correspondent

The 2017 general election could result in a hung parliament, the exit poll has predicted.

The exit poll suggests the Conservatives will be the largest party with 314 seats, a loss of 17 seats, with Labour on 266, a gain of 34.

It also put the SNP on 34, the Lib Dems on 14, Plaid Cymru on three and the Greens on one.

Live blog begins below

Exit Poll predicts hung parliament

Live Updates

9 mins ago

This is from Theresa May’s former communication director, who stepped down when the Prime Minister called the election in April. Quite a significant intervention:

Katie Perrior, former May comms director, says the Tory campaign was “pretty awful”. Says responsibility lies with Hill and Timothy.

14 mins ago

Labour gain Crewe and Nantwich from the Conservatives.
17 mins ago

Corbyn will be leaving his home in Islington shortly to head to Labour HQ & speak to party staff. May speech expected later this morning.

20 mins ago

Scotland, final result:

SNP: 35 (-21)
CON: 13 (+12)
LAB: 7 (+6)
LDEM: 4 (+3)

26 mins ago

Don’t know if it is lack of sleep or hung parliament delirium but can’t stop laughing at this @AFPphoto

33 mins ago

After 639 constituency results out of 650 in the electionElection the turnout is:

31,641,660 (68.69%, +2.65%)

33 mins ago

Plaid Cymru have gained Ceredigion from the Liberal Democrats.
38 mins ago

Amber Rudd holds Hastings and Rye with a greatly reduced majority

Amber Rudd clung onto her seat by the narrowest of margins following a knife-edge full recount in Hastings and Rye. The Home Secretary did not speak to the media and was spirited away into the early dawn by her aides after she emerged victorious with a greatly reduced majority of just 346, defeating her Labour rival. by 25,668 to 25,322. After the recount was announced, Ms Rudd relaxed visibly having spent most of the evening looking tense.

an hour ago

Corbyn has now won as many seats, 258, as Gordon Brown did in 2010. Labour now forecast to win 265.

an hour ago

: Brighton, Pavilion:
Grn: 52.3% (+10.4)
Lab: 26.8% (-0.5)
Con: 19.2% (-3.6)
UKIP: 1.1% (-3.9)
Ind: 0.7% (+0.3)
Green HOLD.

an hour ago

She is the only Green candidate to win a seat so far.
an hour ago

Caroline Lucas has held onto her seat of Brighton Pavilion.
an hour ago

Lee Hardman, a currency analyst at MUFG, tells business editor Josie Cox that the market’s hopes were “pinned firmly on a stronger mandate as the UK Government begins Brexit negotiations”.
“Without question, there is volatility ahead. The market is desperate for any indication of what a Brexit deal might look like,” he writes in a note.
“If negotiations go well, this could translate into a $1.30 to $1.35 range for the pound versus the dollar. But if the market anticipates a hard Brexit, the pound could drop to $1.20 to $1.25 against the dollar.”
“In the immediate term, the pound could fall sharply until there is further clarity, perhaps as low as 0.9150 against the euro. There is plenty of scope for speculators to rebuild short pound positions on the back of heightened fears that a more disorderly Brexit is on the cards.” He says.
an hour ago

This is from the Press Association: 

The influential ConservativeHome website, edited by former MP Paul Goodman, said the “consensus view” among Tory backbenchers and ministers is that the Prime Minister’s authority has “received a blow from which it is unlikely to recover”.

Mr Goodman said they believed Mrs May’s two closest advisers, joint chiefs of staff Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill “must go” and there could be major changes to the Brexit process, single market membership “may now be on the table”, the website said.

He added: “All this, remember, is on the assumption that May somehow gains a working majority, or is Prime Minister in a hung Parliament.

“In the latter circumstance, a second election in the autumn will be likely.

“With the threat of a second election hanging over their heads, Conservative backbenchers would be unlikely to mount a leadership challenge, but May’s days as leader would be numbered.”

an hour ago

It’s official: the Tories have lost their majority – third hung Parliament in post-war era.The antithesis of strong and stable.

an hour ago

It is now impossible for the Tory party to win a majority, confirming Britain is heading for a hung parliament.
an hour ago

an hour ago

Senior Conservatives are refusing to appear on TV

The most senior Conservatives are refusing to appear on TV in the wake of their disappointing election results, according to the BBC. Many top Tories – including potential leadership candidates Boris Johnson, Philip Hammond and David Davis – are not taking up offers of interviews, David Dimbleby said live on TV. Both are usually happy to talk on TV but do not wish to appear after it became clear that their party was heading for a hung parliament, Mr Dimbleby suggested.

an hour ago

In Hove, Labour increased their majority of the vote to 18,000 from 1,200.
an hour ago

Six ministers have now lost their seats, including: Jane Ellison, Gavin Barwell, Rob Wilson, Ben Gummer, James Wharton, Nicola Blackwood
See more: