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Outgoing PM Theresa May travels to Brussels for last EU summit | Politics News



Theresa May is on her way to her final EU summit following her resignation and the Conservatives’ drubbing in the European elections.

The outgoing prime minister and newly elected MEPs will go to Brussels, where the group of 73, including 29 Brexit Party representatives, will begin negotiating to form political groups.

Mrs May will meet with Donald Tusk, European Council president, and then have an informal dinner with EU member state leaders.

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage reacts after the European Parliament election results for the UK South East Region
Nigel Farage’s new cohort of MEPs will go to Brussels

The European elections saw a bloc-wide surge for smaller parties, with increased support for Greens, nationalists and liberals.

The weakening of traditional party power bases will make the process of negotiating potential partners in the EU more complicated for new MEPs.

UK MEPs will need to find a minimum of 25 members from at least one-quarter of the member states in order to form a group within the parliament.

Pro-European parties remain in charge despite reduced majority

After Mrs May quit on Friday, announcing she would leave her role as leader of the Conservatives on 7 June, leaders in the European Parliament made it clear that a new party head would not change the deal on offer from the EU.

But there will be changes at the top of the EU as well. At Mrs May’s dinner, leaders will discuss who should take over from Jean-Claude Juncker at the European Commission, the EU’s executive branch.

They will also consider who should replace Mr Tusk at the EU Council and who should become the new head of the European Central Bank.

French President Emmanuel Macron (L) gestures and welcomes Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez upon his arrival prior to a state dinner at the Elysee Palace, in Paris on May 27, 2019. (Photo by FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FRANCOIS GUILLOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Emmanuel Macron and Pedro Sanchez will have lunch with other liberal leaders

German chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition suffered in the EU election on Sunday. She wants a quick agreement on who will step into the commission role.

Leaders’ party groups are expected to endorse a call for prime ministers to nominate a lead candidate, with the centre-right group calling for Manfred Weber and the centre-left supporting Frans Timmermans.

National leaders will hold private talks this afternoon, including Emmanuel Macron and Spanish leader Pedro Sanchez who are due to have lunch with the liberal Belgian and Dutch leaders and Portugal’s premier.

The UK public sends a message to the bigger parties, as The Brexit Party and Lib Dems storm ahead of Labour and the Tories.

European elections: Winners and losers

The far-right gained ground following four days of a polarised vote across the bloc, with parties led by Italy’s populist Matteo Salvini and French far-right leader Marine Le Pen becoming among the biggest in the European assembly.

Green parties in Germany, France, the UK and elsewhere came fourth in the election with 70 seats, an increase of 18 compared with 2014’s elections.

Turnout was at a two-decade high for ballots across all 28 European Union countries.

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