June 9, 2017 / 9:09 AM / a year ago

Britain should form government quickly to negotiate Brexit - Germany

WOLFENBUETTEL, Germany (Reuters) - German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Friday he hoped Britain would soon form a government to carry out Brexit negotiations after British Prime Minister Theresa May lost her majority in a snap election.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel attends a joint news conference with Libya's Foreign Affairs Minister Mohamed Taher Siala, in Tripoli, Libya June 8, 2017. REUTERS/Ismail Zitouny

“I can only hope that a government is formed quickly with which we can negotiate seriously and that, if possible, we keep Britain as close as possible to the EU,” Gabriel said as he met his Qatari counterpart in the German town of Wolfenbuettel.

He said the election result - a blow to May, who advocated a hard Brexit - showed Britons “won’t be played with.”

Gabriel added: “I think the message of the election is: have fair discussions with the EU and have another think about whether it is good for Britain to leave the EU in this way.”

Reporting by Reuters TV; Writing by Michelle Martin; Editing by Andrea Shalal

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