Venerdì, 23 Giugno, 2017

Former PM Major: May's DUP deal is risk to Northern Ireland peace

Parmenio Sano | 19 Giugno, 2017, 04:03

The leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) says talks with the UK Prime Minister Theresa May to support a new government are going well.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour stands ready to vote down the Queen's Speech, which sets out the government's legislative agenda, underlining the need for Mrs May to secure DUP support from the outset of the new parliament.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said on Tuesday that an agreement between the two sides would be concluded "soon".

Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion.

May is also scheduled to meet French President Emmanuel Macron later in the day.

Despite anger at the election, she was cheered briefly at the start of the meeting. Her gamble failed spectacularly.

Before the election, May proposed a clean break from the European Union, involving withdrawal from the European Union single market, limits on immigration and a bespoke customs deal with the EU.

To do so, she will be heavily reliant on the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who can help her edge past the 326 votes needed in Parliament to avoid the collapse of the government. Demonstrators denounced what they called the homophobic and sexist values of the party, and argued that a Tory pact with the DUP could put the Northern Irish peace process at risk.

The former Conservative prime minister, Sir John Major has cited his concerns over the Northern Ireland peace process urging Theresa May to walk away from doing any deal with the DUP.


Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, which saw its number seats and share of the vote increase, said there could be another election this year or early in 2018 after last Thursday's vote produced no clear victor.

"This new arrangement is very unsettling and people are concerned and anxious about what it may mean", Sinn Fein MP Michelle Glidernew told AFP.

"So there is a lot of anxiety and a lot of fear out of what is being discussed".

As May attempts to cobble together a majority, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned that time was passing in an interview on Tuesday.

"But, let us be clear and organised and once the negotiations have started we should be well aware that it'll be more hard to move backwards", he noted.

As European leaders tried to fathom exactly how Britain would begin the negotiations, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Germany wanted a Brexit deal that would limit negative consequences for the bloc but also did not want it to weaken Britain.

They are hoping to ramp up the pressure on the region's largest political party to change its stance at a time when its policies on social issues are under renewed scrutiny due to the likely parliamentary deal with the minority Tory government.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, warned Tuesday that "the current uncertainty can not continue" and on Wednesday issued five "pressing questions" on Twitter.

Mr Drakeford added: "As John Major has said, if this turns out simply to be cash for votes, then that is a very, very undignified position for the United Kingdom government to have put itself in".

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