Lunedi, 23 Ottobre, 2017

'Significant progress' in Theresa May's talks with the DUP

Parmenio Sano | 19 Giugno, 2017, 05:47

Prime Minister Theresa May will seek to strike a deal with a Northern Irish Protestant party to save her premiership on Tuesday (NZT Wednesday) as she comes under intense pressure to soften her approach to Brexit days before formal European Union divorce talks.

Following more than an hour of talks between May and DUP leader Arlene Foster on Tuesday, May said the discussion had been productive and Foster said she hoped a deal could be reached "sooner rather than later".

Foster and Prime Minister Theresa May may work together after Tories failed to win an overall majority in the UK General Election.

The DUP's policies on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion have come under increased scrutiny since the election result, with the party's 10 MPs offering the prime minister a chance to prop up her minority government.

May began talks with the Northern Ireland-based party to see if they can create an alliance to push through the Conservative Party's agenda after a disastrous snap election left her short of a majority in Parliament.

Both the Conservative Party and the DUP were now focused on finalising the "terms and conditions" of the deal following a meeting between May and DUP leader Arlene Foster on Tuesday, the DUP source told the channel.

The cabinet also discussed the ongoing talks with the DUP to secure a confidence and supply arrangement, added May's official spokesperson.

With British politics thrust into the deepest turmoil since last June's shock Brexit vote, European Union leaders were left wondering how divorce talks would open next week.


"Michel Barnier, the European Commission's Chief Negotiator, and David Davis, Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union, agreed today to launch Article 50 negotiations on Monday, June 19", the statement said.

Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, Major and Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU.

The Tories need the support of 10 DUP MPs to form the government in the United Kingdom after they failed to win a majority in the general elections.

The Irish republican Sinn Fein party - which won seven seats in the election although MPs traditionally don't take up their seats in protest - is also wary of the alliance.

Sinn Fein has declined to say whether it might challenge a Tory-DUP tie-up in the courts, but Alex Maskey, a Sinn Fein member of the Belfast Assembly, said it could "prove to be reckless".

The PM told the backbench 1922 Committee on Monday a deal with the DUP would not affect power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland or LGBT rights.

"We stand at a critical time with those Brexit negotiations starting only next week - I think that stability is important".

May's office said Northern Ireland's five main parties would take part, but a spokesman for the DUP did not immediately respond to a request to confirm their participation.

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