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

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

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

Amid calls from some MPs for the Conservatives to rethink their Brexit strategy, he said there was a "clear consensus" for leaving the single market and ending free movement while retaining the "maximum access" to European Union markets and maintaining co-operation in key areas such as science.

The EU will keep the door open for Britain to return, but only on worse terms than it now has, European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said Wednesday.

The Conservatives are having to rely on the support of 10 DUP MPs after they fell eight seats short of winning an overall majority at the general election.

The state opening will be followed by days of parliamentary debate and a confidence vote that will be the first major challenge for the new government.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has indicated a deal to support the Conservatives' minority government is close to being finalised. Some involved in the Irish peace process are alarmed because the 1998 Good Friday peace accords call for the British government to be neutral in the politics of Northern Ireland.

Foster also said a deal on power-sharing in Northern Ireland is "very likely" this month, according to RTÉ.

Where the DUP has helped to encourage an amendment to May's recent election manifesto is that means testing of the winter fuel allowance for the elderly has been dropped, and the triple lock on pension rises retained. Former PM David Cameron recently spoke out and said that May must work more closely with the Labour Party if she is to make a success of the forthcoming negotiations.

Brussels has warned that time is running out to start the talks on divorce terms and a future trade deal, with Britain set to leave the European Union come what may in March 2019.

After more than an hour of talks between Mrs May and DUP leader Arlene Foster on Tuesday, Mrs May said the discussion had been productive.

The Conservatives are considering an arrangement in which the Northern Ireland party backs May on the budget and her confidence motions.

"Although I don't expect it suddenly to collapse, because there's a broad consensus that wishes it to continue, I think we have to take care with it and take care that everything we do does not exaggerate the underlying differences that still are there in the Northern Ireland community".

Brexit is another complicating factor in the mix.

The lengthy negotiations seem to indicate that May is struggling to cede to the DUP's demands, which mainly involve a large increase in funding to Northern Ireland at a time when funding for United Kingdom social services, such as the NHS, are in crisis.

"Not just in Northern Ireland from my perspective but of course in the Republic of Ireland as well".

As he arrived at the Dail in Dublin ahead of Enda Kenny's formal resignation as taoiseach, Mr Adams said incoming Irish premier Leo Varadkar needed to put his efforts into restoring powersharing north of the border.