A Union flag lies from a flagpole opposite the Elizabeth Tower, commonly reffered to as Big Ben, at the Houses of Parliament in central London on June 7, 2017. AFP / Justin TALLIS
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Theresa May's insistence on starting Brexit negotiations next Monday is questioned by Britons who think the prime minister's calamitous election setback means she should now seek to stay in the EU single market. However, in the year since Britain voted to leave the European Union, the other 27 EU states have hardened their common position and narrowed British options for avoiding a "hard Brexit". HARD, SMOOTH BREXITMay, a former supporter of EU membership, filed for divorce in March, meaning Britain would leave the single market and customs union and end EU court oversight, EU budget payments and free migration from the EU to Britain.EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has instructions to seek a deal that preserves the rights of 3 million EU citizens in Britain, recovers money owed by London (possibly $65 billion) and limits any damage to Irish peace from a "hard" EU-U.K. land border.Formally, EU leaders insist they would rather Britain not leave.... While EU leaders do not rule that out, they have set tough conditions similar to those imposed on Norway, which can access EU markets in return for cash contributions, taking EU migrants as well as refugees and observing rules overseen by EU courts.
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