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PM May nears DUP deal

19 Juin 2017

A DUP source was reported to have said the two sides were finalising the agreement that would enable Theresa May to form a government with the support of 10 DUP MPs. "And the danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties".

Under the deal, the party would offer support for key votes, such as backing the Queen's Speech and the Budget, and - crucially - in any votes of no confidence.

Speaking straight after a meeting with DUP leader Arlene Foster, the Prime Minister praised the increased diversity in the chamber, noting the record number of LGB MPs as well as the record number of BME MPs, disabled MPs and female MPs.

Yesterday, Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein said it would meet Mrs May in London today.

The government meanwhile said the state opening of the British parliament - when May's government presents its legislation programme - will take place on June 21, two days later than planned.

Ms May faces a hard balancing act: Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron, and many of her politicians and party membership support a sharp break with the EU.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron called for a cross-party committee to be set up to handle the Brexit negotiations.

It comes as DUP leader Arlene Foster and the party's Westminster leader Nigel Dodds have been having ongoing discussions with Theresa May to strike a deal for them to work a minority government with the Conservatives.

"Here, with the peace process, we need to be prepared for the unexpected, we need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst".

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

"I'm the person who got us into this mess and I'm the one who will get us out of it", she said.

But Ruth Davidson, the pro-EU leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, called on May to "reopen" the government's Brexit plans.

Earlier this week, in a joint press conference with Mrs May, French president Emmanuel Macron claimed the door is always open for the United Kingdom to remain in the European Union before Article 50 negotiations are concluded.

Brexit will likely be on the agenda at the Paris meeting, after May confirmed she will stick to the negotiating timetable.

"There is a unity of goal among people in the United Kingdom", May said following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

If the Government cannot even secure a deal with the DUP, how on Earth can they get a deal with the EU?

She said: "There's been a lot of hyperbole talked about our position to the gay community".

Sinn Fein has said that if May makes concessions to the DUP that would disadvantage Irish nationalists, then a deal would be more hard to secure.

"Obviously until we have that we can't agree the final details of the Queen's Speech", said May's deputy Damian Green, referring to a an agreement with the DUP.

"It's imperative that both Governments recommit to the word, spirit and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement if there is to be any prospect of re-establishing the Executive".

PM May nears DUP deal