Brexit talks kick off with calls for a ‘strong and special partnership’ – CNBC

Brexit talks kick off with calls for a ‘strong and special partnership’ – CNBC

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Prime Minister Theresa May looks on at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, after she held her seat

Stefan Rousseau | PA Images | Getty Images

Prime Minister Theresa May looks on at the Magnet Leisure Centre in Maidenhead, after she held her seat

Though May’s gamble will have done little to strengthen the U.K.’s position in EU talks, analysts suspect it will do little to change its intended Brexit agenda.

“The elections were terrible for May but I don’t think the fundamental dynamics of the Brexit negotiations will change because of that,” Stefan Auer, associate professor in European Studies at the University of Hong Kong, told CNBC on Monday.

“The only possibility of a soft Brexit is if the EU itself fundamentally changes, if the EU allows member states to reclaim more control over their destiny, which is something I’ve advocated for many years.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is considered one of the driving forces behind the EU, said on Monday that she hoped negotiations would secure a “good agreement” for both parties but reiterated the unity of remaining member states.

“For me, it is above all about the EU27 proceeding together and listening carefully to Britain’s wishes and expectations,” Merkel said after meeting Romanian President Klaus Iohannis.

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