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Sturgeon calls for pause in Brexit talks after UK election

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has called on British Prime Minister Theresa May to pause Brexit talks until a cross-party consensus can be built in the wake of the recent general election results.

Sturgeon said on Monday that the disappointing results last week had left the UK government so unstable and weak it was vital that the British premier sought the support of devolved governments and opposition parties to adopt a common position before London started negotiations with Brussels.

According to the UK general election results on June 8, with 649 out of 650 seats declared, the Conservatives won 318 seats, short of the 326 they needed for an outright majority. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party managed to clinch 261 seats and the Scottish National Party (SNP) only 35 as the third-biggest group in the new House of Commons.

“The Tories’ hard Brexit plan has been rejected and we cannot allow the Brexit negotiations to become hostage to the inability of either the Tories or Labour to command a clear majority,” Sturgeon said.

“The prime minister has got to recognize that she asked for a strengthened mandate for a hard Brexit, and voters across the UK refused to give her that, and she cannot simply carry one as if nothing has changed…The Tory cabal kicking up a hard Brexit approach is dead in the water,” she added.“It is imperative that we now build a cross-party, all-government approach to Brexit that will protect all of our interests at this highly uncertain time. The strongest possible position in the Brexit negotiations will be one that is backed by all parties and all governments across the UK.”

May had called for the snap election confident to gain additional seats in parliament for the ruling Conservative party to strengthen her position in the upcoming Brexit talks. Snap election is an election in a parliamentary system called when not required usually to capitalize on a unique electoral opportunity.

Edinburgh’s call for a special deal to keep Scotland in the single market while the rest of the UK leaves the bloc has been repeatedly rejected by the British government.

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May (L) leaves after hosting a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street in central London on June 12, 2017. (photo by AFP)

Following the disappointing results for the Conservative Party and the promising results for Labour in the last Thursday’s general elections, many Britons are calling on May to resign and give way to the Labour Party to form a new government, however, the British prime minister is now trying to save herself by forming a coalition government with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Labour has announced its readiness to form its own government and lead the Brexit talks.

Earlier in the day, Britain announced its government’s unchanged resolved to part ways with the European Union.

“Our position is clearly set out, it is clearly set out in a number of places and there has been no change to that,” May’s spokesperson said.

British politics is in a state of disarray as London is scheduled to start talks with Brussels over its divorce from the European Union on June 19. There have been suggestions that the date could be delayed by a few days.

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