British Prime Minister Theresa May will on Friday seek to form a new government, resisting pressure to resign after losing her parliamentary majority ahead of crucial Brexit talks.
The Conservative leader had called Thursday’s snap election in a bid to extend her majority and strengthen her hand in the EU divorce negotiations, but her gamble backfired spectacularly.
Her centre-right party came first but lost its majority in parliament, meaning it is likely to have to secure the support of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and its 10 extra seats to push it over the line.
May will meet the head of state Queen Elizabeth II at 12:30 pm (1130 GMT) and ask for permission to form a new government, according to her Downing Street office.
Sterling sank against the dollar and the euro on Friday as investors questioned who was now going to control the Brexit process.
EU President Donald Tusk urged Britain not to delay the Brexit talks, warning that time was running out to reach a divorce deal to end four decades of membership.
“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’,” Tusk wrote on Twitter.
May faced pressure to quit after a troubled campaign overshadowed by two terror attacks, but said Britain “needs a period of stability” as it prepares for the complicated process of withdrawing from the European Union.