Merkel says EU is 'ready to start Brexit negotiations'

Angela Merkel has said she sees no obstacles in the way of beginning Brexit talks as scheduled after Theresa May failed to win a majority in Thursday's UK election.


The German chancellor said she believed Britain would stick to the timetable, adding the European Union was "ready".


Mrs Merkel added she hoped Britain would remain a good partner following the talks, due to begin on 19 June.


It is her first comment since Mrs May's Conservative party lost 13 seats.


The loss left the Conservatives eight MPs short of a majority in parliament, plunging negotiations into uncertainty. Mrs May called the snap election in order to secure a clear mandate for her vision of Brexit.


A spokesman for Mrs Merkel had previously refused to be drawn on the issue out of "politeness and respect" while the process of forming a new UK government was under way.


Mrs May says she will form a government with the Democratic Unionist Party from Northern Ireland, which won 10 seats.