08:05 GMT11 August 2020
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    UK General Election 2017 (130)
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    Brussels should not take advantage of divisions in the United Kingdom, caused by the Conservative Party's failure to keep its parliamentary majority, during EU-UK Brexit negotiations, a member of the right-wing Belgian Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) party, Bart Claes, told Sputnik.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Thursday, the United Kingdom held a snap general election, which resulted in a hung parliament as the Conservatives failed to secure an overall majority in the House of Commons and fell short of the required 326 seats. The election was called by UK Prime Minister Theresa May in order to unify the parliament ahead of the Brexit talks with Brussels.

    "The eurocrats are not going to go easy on the UK, they might try to make Britain bleed, in order to bully other nations into subjugation. A divided Britain will certainly not strengthen their [UK] position in these negotiations. We feel that the EU should respect the British choice and try to achieve a ‘clean’ exit," Claes said.

    Claes expressed hope in EU member states' governments influencing Brussels to conclude a fair Brexit deal with the United Kingdom.

    "We can only hope that the national governments will press for some common sense, and force these eurocrats to achieve a decent deal with Britain," Claes added.

    The Conservative Party, which had 330 seats in the previous parliament, led with 318 seats, while the Labour Party got 262 seats and increased the number of their seats by 30. The Scottish National Party lost 21 seats and now has 35 seats, the Liberal Democrats got 12 gaining 4 additional seats, while the Democratic Unionist Party received 10 winning 2 more seats. Independent candidates and nominees of other parties have collectively won elections in 13 constituencies.

    The Brexit talks were set to start on June 19 with UK Brexit Secretary David Davis meeting European Union's chief negotiator Michel Barnier. However, on Friday, Barnier wrote on Twitter that Brexit negotiations should begin when the United Kingdom was "ready," since the election had thrown May's majority into disarray.

    On May 3, the UK prime minister said that the European Commission had hardened its Brexit negotiating stance and noted that the talks with Brussels were likely to be difficult. On the same day, media reported that the EU increased its demands regarding UK financial obligations to the bloc up to some $109 billion. This figure is an increase from the $64 billion initially announced by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in early March.

    Topic:
    UK General Election 2017 (130)

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    Brexit, EU, Bart Claes, United Kingdom
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