British Conservatives, Northern Ireland's DUP deep into negotiations to form government

Frederick Owens
June 15, 2017

Earlier, Ms Foster said the talks were going well: "We hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion".

May hopes with the backing of the DUP her Conservatives will again command the majority they lost in last week's election.

"Going overseas and being seen to be the prime minister and talking to the president of France, being seen to be wheeler-dealing on the global stage, is a classic move to shore up authority at home", he told AFP.

In a sign of the parliamentary guerilla warfare that will face May as she attempts to run a minority government, a Labour source said: "In Parliament we will be using every opportunity to halt the Tory programme which doesn't have a mandate and use every mechanism to advance our own manifesto and agenda".

In a remarkable turnaround, scores of Labour MPs rose to applaud Corbyn as he entered the Commons chamber less than a year after they tried to move him with an unprecedented wave of resignations.

Jeremy Corbyn won a standing ovation from his MPs today before he taunted Theresa May over her "coalition of chaos".

May will also be reliant upon the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who would help her edge past the 326 votes needed in parliament to avoid the government collapsing.

But the prospect of a deal has caused consternation in Dublin, with Ireland's outgoing premier Enda Kenny warning that such an alliance could upset Northern Ireland's fragile peace.

These include a commitment by London to do more to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the province, improvement in connectivity between Northern Ireland and Great Britain - including a guarantee of direct access to London's hub airports. The party supports keeping Britain within the EU's single market, which allows for the free flow of goods, services and people. Ms. "There's a lot of anxiety", Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew told AFP.

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"There is wide spread concern that Theresa May in seeking a deal with the DUP to remain in office will make the job of re-establishing the Executive more hard".

The European Union has called on the United Kingdom to have a greater sense of urgency on Brexit negotiations days after Prime Minister Theresa May failed to win a majority in the general election.

The EU's negotiator Michel Barnier dismissed the suggestion of postponing the negotiations and said such a delay would only prompt further instability.

"My preoccupation is that time is passing - it's passing quicker than anyone believes".

British officials held "talks about talks" with the European Union's Brexit man in Brussels but actual negotiations, scheduled to start in a week's time, might be delayed by political upheaval in London.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, said that Brexit can be halted, but if Britain reversed course it should not expect to keep getting its EU budget rebates or opt-outs from key EU rules.

Mrs May left for the Commons for the election of the Speaker without answering reporters' questions about how negotiations were progressing.

The EU meanwhile unveiled plans to give itself new powers over London's banking business after Brexit, in what could be a blow to the city's supremacy as a global financial hub.

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