- Brexit negotiations are due to start tomorrow (19 June 2017),
- The deal with the DUP, to give the Conservatives the majority they want, apparently hasn't yet been finalised,
- At least not sufficiently finalised to prevent delaying the Queen's Speech until Wednesday,
is there any sense in which either of these claims is in any way accurate, and/or has any practical consequences for the Brexit talks?
- "The UK currently has no government."
- This assumes (possibly mistakenly on my part) that the government is suspended or dissolved in some way around the election, and resumes only after formation of a new one afterwards, leaving a gap of "no government" in between.
- "As a result, the idea of starting Brexit talks tomorrow is absurd, because the people to whom the EU will be talking don't [currently] have the authority to represent the UK."
- Even if claim 1 is true, this also assumes there are no contingency arrangements (which would seem to be sensible) in place for the existing/former government to continue to function until the new one is formed - and in particular, it assumes that any authority those representatives did have before the election lost it afterwards.
Is there a possibility that the legitimacy of any talks begun tomorrow could be challenged on the basis that the UK representatives had no authority to enter into them at the time? I'm assuming not, because I'd have thought any suggestion of this would be trumpeted in the news.
But if so, and assuming that the Tories do end up in an agreement with the DUP, would it just be a case of retroactively "authorising" the start of the talks? "We were in government then, and we are again now, so that little grey area in the middle has no practical consequences."