UK election result: How the world reacted

The result of the UK election, with the ruling Conservatives unexpectedly losing their overall majority, has sent shockwaves across Europe and beyond.

Politicians across the Continent have been questioning the impact on the Brexit talks.

Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the European Commission, said he wanted discussions to proceed without delay.

“As far as the Commission is concerned we can open negotiations tomorrow morning at half past nine,” he said.

“First we have to agree on the divorce and exit modalities, and then we have to envisage the architecture of our future relations. I do hope that the result of the elections will have no major impact on the negotiations we are desperately waiting for.”

Sweden’s former Prime Minister Carl Bildt, who now chairs the European Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, called the outcome “messy”.

“One mess risks following another. Price to be paid for lack of true leadership,” he tweeted.

‘Another own goal’

Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt, who is president of the Alliance of Liberals & Democrats for Europe in the European Parliament, had caustic words for Mrs May.

“Yet another own goal, after Cameron now May, will make already complex negotiations even more complicated,” he tweeted.

Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit, had a more conciliatory message. “#Brexit negotiations should start when UK is ready; timetable and EU positions are clear. Let’s put our minds together on striking a deal,” he said.

European Council President Donald Tusk alluded to the March 2019 deadline for Brexit talks.

“We don’t know when Brexit talks start. We know when they must end. Do your best to avoid a ‘no deal’ as result of ‘no negotiations’,” he wrote.

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