EU's Juncker 'strongly hopes' UK election results won't affect Brexit talks
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Friday expressed hope that the results of the early elections in the United Kingdom will not affect the negotiations on the country's withdrawal from the the European Union, Sputnik reported.
Under article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty on withdrawal from the European Union, agreement on the terms of Brexit should be reached by the end of March 2019, two years after its launch, through negotiations between the European Commission and the UK authorities. The talks had been originally scheduled to start on June 19.
"All elections are important, not only in so-called big Member States. But the one of yesterday was of a particular importance. I do strongly hope that Britain will stay ready to open negotiations… I do hope that the result of the elections will have no major impact on the negotiations we are desperately waiting for," Juncker said.
On the issue of a possible delay in negotiations due to the hung parliament outcome of the UK election, Juncker expressed hope that this would not happen, reaffirming the Commission's readiness to “open negotiations tomorrow morning at half-past nine”.
In turn, European Council President Donald Tusk warned London earlier on Twitter "to avoid a ‘no deal’ as result of ‘no negotiations'," implying the irreversible nature of deadlines determined by article 50.
Early parliamentary elections were held in the United Kingdom on June 8. According to official results, the Conservative Party received 318 seats, the Labour Party came second with 261 seats, and the Scottish National Party is third with 35 seats. The Liberal Democrats won 12 seats and the Democratic Unionist Party got 10 seats, while the UK Independence Party did not receive a single seat. One constituency has yet to declare its result.