As long as the negotiations aren’t finished, the door remains (a bit) open. Those words were spoken by French President Macron in the gardens of the Élysée Palace in Paris in a joint press conference with UK Prime Minister May. Macron and May had a working dinner yesterday before visiting the friendly football match between France and England (3-2). Macron made it clear that he respected the sovereign decision of the British people. However, he also added: “As the negotiations go on it will be more and more difficult to go back”
May again repeated that the negotiations would not be delayed by last week’s UK election, but also said she wished to maintain a “deep and special partnership” with the EU. Last week, the elections turned out to be a huge disappointment for May, weakening her negotiation position for a hard Brexit. But May stood fast and said her team was right on schedule, and ready for the negotiations which will commence next week.
Earlier today, May met with representatives of the (conservative) Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to secure their support, which she needs in order to form a stable government. The pact is highly controversial.
DUP-leader Arlene Foster said: “she wants the best deal for Northern-Ireland,” and that she wants something back for their support. One of those things is a soft-Brexit. And that brings May into political turmoil. As PM, she always fought for a hard Brexit, a Brexit that breaks as many ties with the EU as possible. And Foster will not budge on that, since last year, 56% of Northern-Ireland voted remain.
May herself also voted remain.