Thursday, 29 June, 2017

Senior Cabinet minister offer support to UK prime minister

Saul Franklin | 15 June, 2017, 02:19

She received a loud cheer from her MPs when she pointed out the election result has saved the union, as it as severely weakened the position of the SNP.

"I hope that we can reach a conclusion sooner than later".

Arlene Foster and DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds entered Downing Street at around 12:40 p.m. (1140 GMT, 7:40 a.m. EDT).

Mrs Foster said: "There's been a lot of commentary around the issues that we are talking about and it won't surprise anyone that we are talking about matters that pertain, of course, to the nation generally".

London's neutrality is key to the delicate balance of power in Northern Ireland, which was once plagued by violence over Britain's control of the province.

"It'll be done when it's done", they added.

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

She reportedly apologised to Tory MPs, accepting personal responsibility for failing to win an outright victory and sacrificing the parliamentary majority she inherited from David Cameron when she became leader after the Brexit referendum past year.

She mocked Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a socialist, as incompetent and unrealistic, but his electoral campaign energised the youth vote and wiped out the Conservatives' majority in parliament.

"It may not be on the Monday because we also have got the Queen's Speech that week and I will have to speak in that, and so on", he told Sky News.

"I must let the House know - and the rest of the nation know - that if that is not possible, the Labour Party stands ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest".

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Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said the government was not looking at a formal coalition but would seek assurances that the DUP would vote with May "on the big things".

Sir John Major has issued a stark warning that Tory plans for an informal alliance with Northern Irish unionists could threaten peace in the province.

He said a minority government was "an option well worth considering" for the Tories.

However Lord Trimble, leader of the Ulster Unionist Party from September 1995 until May 2005 and one of the architects of the Good Friday Agreement, said the Government was also "taking a risk".

Talks with the DUP broke up on Tuesday night without an agreement, but Mrs May said the discussions had been "productive".

However, Mrs May assured MPs the DUP would not have any sway over policy on LGBT rights and any "confidence and supply" deal with them would not have any effect on talks aiming to restore the power-sharing Northern Ireland Government.

The Prime Minister faced her colleagues at a meeting of the 1922 Committee on Monday.

The political turmoil comes a week before Britain is due to start negotiating the terms of its exit from the European Union in talks of unprecedented complexity that are supposed to wrap up by the end of March 2019, when Britain actually leaves.

He said: "You can expect that in some sort of press release form".

Asked if any deal should go ahead, he said: "They are perfectly entitled to do it, this is not in any way different to what (James) Callaghan did in his arrangements with the liberals way back in the 70s, it's not any different to what Nick Clegg did".

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said: "I will be making it very clear that any deal between the Tories and the DUP can not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday and subsequent agreements".

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