'The point is she is not a unifying figure any more.
After the general election fiasco, May hopes to secure the backing of the ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party, which would add the DUP's 10 seats to the Conservatives' 317 in the 650-member House of Commons. Macron was speaking even after Britain's Prime Minister Teresa May announced that Brexit talks were scheduled to begin in June 2017. The Scottish First Minister, the SNP's Nicola Sturgeon, is calling for a different, softer approach as is (more mutedly) Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader.
"The election result increased the probability of extreme outcomes", said Phillip Souta, head of United Kingdom public policy at Clifford Chance LLP. It has far more urgent tasks on its hands.
European Union leaders have given chief Brussels negotiator Michel Barnier no authority to so much as talk about future trade with Britain until he clinches outline deals on Brussels' priority issues, including London's exit bill.
How the negotiations progress will be monitored closely by investors and business leaders.
Threats by Britain to walk away without a deal have also anxious European capitals.
However, Britain is split on how Brexit should be negotiated, with only a minority (43 per cent) backing Theresa May and Mr Davis's current plan.
"The question is not whether we are leaving the customs union".
Davis will lead a team of experienced negotiators to Brussels, confident that he can get a positive outcome and secure a new deep and special partnership with the European Union, said his spokesman.
Ms May has been under pressure since the election cost her her majority to consider "softer" Brexit options than the clean break she proposed from the EU single market and customs union.
They are likely to be discussing the possibility of a transition period following Brexitduring which new trade arrangements can be finalised and phased in, in order to prevent a "cliff-edge" move to the new model.
Last June, British voters opted to leave the 28-nation bloc in a referendum. The vote followed decades of mounting skepticism toward a project initially based on free trade, and which became a lightning rod for complaints over rising immigration and bureaucracy.
"We will build the broadest possible consensus for our Brexit plans and that means giving Parliament the maximum amount of time to scrutinise these bills".
But EU officials are sceptical that May's position has changed, just as they are doubtful about the feasibility of either option. The UK has ruled out paying such a sum, suggesting it could seek a chunk of the EU's assets as part of a "fair settlement", although it might have to pay something to ease a trade accord.
"Our view is that a withdrawal agreement and terms of the future relationship must be agreed alongside each other", the department said in a statement Friday.
"It's not for me to know whether we have to come back on that decision", he told reporters at a recent conference with Theresa May, "[but] as long as the decision of the organisation of this exit hasn't been completed, then there's still the possibility of reopening it".
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