Theresa May's stance might 'delay' EU-Brexit talks by a year

They continued that the Prime Minister said she would learn the lessons of the General Election campaign, particularly that voters wanted more money spent on public services, highlighting schools, hospitals and childcare in particular.

It comes as the party has accused the DUP of betraying the interests of Northern Ireland by agreeing to prop up a Conservative minority government.

"I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out", May told Conservatives MPs, seeking to ward off any challenge to her leadership.

The meeting with the rank-and-file, some of whom have called for May to step aside sooner rather than later, was brought forward a day.

May looked set to face criticism and anger from Conservative MPs at a private meeting in parliament over her handling of an election that lost the party its parliamentary majority.

A failure to gain support from the Northern Irish party would risk the Queen's Speech being voted down next week, and Corbyn has said Labour will be pushing hard for that outcome.

His appointment as a Brexit minister will help to reassure Brexiteers on the Conservative backbenches that Ms May is not planning a significant softening of her approach to negotiating with the EU. However, he insisted they will begin next week.

Davis suggested the government would focus on the divorce proceedings before moving on to trade.

The European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator Brexit Guy Verhofstadt said the EU wanted clarity from London as soon as possible on whether it meant to stick to its stance towards negotiations or alter it.

The EU negotiator did not see any reason to push back the two-year talks process set to end in June 2019.

Major said he sympathised with May and her need to shore up her position, but he urged her to consult more widely on her approach to Brexit, saying he thought the so-called hard Brexit was "increasingly unsustainable".

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is also touted to replace Mrs May should she be forced out, wrote in The Sun newspaper that people "have had a bellyful of promises and politicking", and that "now is the time for delivery - and Theresa May is the right person to continue that vital work". The party still won the largest number of seats and votes - with 318 seats and 12,667,213 votes (42.8% of the overall vote).

"The people of Britain have had a bellyful of promises and politicking".

"There can be no backsliding from the objectives the PM set out in the [election] campaign - taking back control of our laws, our borders, our cash; but also ensuring that we have a great new partnership with the European Union that allows us to trade more freely and enthusiastically than ever", Mr Johnson wrote in the right-wing tabloid The Sun.

Over the weekend, May's top two aides stepped aside.

"We have worked as a party with the DUP before and those are productive talks".

The prime minister said she had tapped experience across the "whole of the Conservative Party" when she appointed Mr Michael Gove, a long-serving cabinet minister who had clashed with Mrs May when she was home secretary, as agriculture minister.

"It's no longer acceptable for the Prime Minister and the Government to try to operate the way they were doing before the election".

The arrangements under discussion include dates and the sequencing of talks - the European Union wants four-week cycles of negotiations, each covering one topic - once they do actually get started.

The words "strong and stable" will haunt the rest of the Prime Minister's political career, if she manages to survive what is the most turbulent time in British politics in over 40 years - and this after promising us stability. "In doing so I think that could well cost votes in the country for the Conservative Party in the bucketload", he said.

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