News Worms
News Worms

Northern Ireland's DUP says talks with Conservatives to continue in London

Sinn Fein has said the prospect of a deal between the Conservatives and the DUP is causing anxiety and fear, with the party warning it could have implications for power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland.

May has been holding talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), keen to get the backing of their 10 lawmakers in Westminster's parliament to return to government after failing to win a majority in last week's British election.

"They are ongoing, it hasn't broken up for the day".

He told Sky News: "I think the right thing to do is honour the vote that the British public made just a year ago". "They are going well".

Theresa May is not going to be present as negotiations continue because she is heading to Paris for a meeting with new elected French President Emmanuel Macron.

These concerns were echoed by former prime minister Sir John Major who has warned that the Government will compromise its stated impartiality if it enters a confidence and supply deal with the DUP at Westminster.

With the two-year clock on Brexit ticking away since March, when a letter from May formally started proceedings, Barnier dismissed suggestion of postponing the negotiations and said such a delay would only prompt further instability.

May desperately needs the DUP's 10 seats to pass legislation.

Demanding a swift start to Brexit negotiations under Article 50 of the European Union treaties, the former Belgian prime minister compared Britain's position to the heroine of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, who found herself in a room with many doors and no idea what lay behind them.

"As a matter of fact in this case it's not for me to say whether or not this decision should be questioned - the decision to leave the European Union - but until the negotiations come to an end, of course there is always the possibility to re-open the door".

But with the two-year countdown to Brexit already under way after Article 50 was triggered in March, he said: "We are impatiently waiting for the negotiating position of the United Kingdom gov".

"Talks with the DUP have been progressing well and there is broad agreement on the principles of the Queen's Speech", said the source.

"It's going to be hard, there's no doubt about that, but perhaps an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it", he said.

The newly-appointed Environment Secretary said the European Union referendum result must be honoured but it is "really important" that the exit package is "in the interests of the whole country". "Party interest or national interest?"

Former Prime Minister David Cameron said May needed to listen to rival political parties, and that there would be pressure for a softer Brexit.

However, putting the pro-British unionist DUP in a position of influence in London could also undermine the British government's ability, enshrined in a 1998 peace agreement, to function as an impartial broker between Northern Ireland's unionists and its Catholic Irish nationalists.

Her most senior minister Damian Green has confirmed the Queen's Speech setting out the Government's programme could be delayed if a deal is not reached in time for it to go ahead on Monday as planned.


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