Monday, 18 February, 2019

EU's Brexit negotiator puts pressure on UK

Ellis Copeland | 18 June, 2017, 03:13

Northern Ireland's power-sharing administration, created under a 1998 Good Friday Agreement peace deal, collapsed in January and talks have been going on since a regional election in March to restore it.

British Prime Minister Theresa May meets the leader of a small Northern Irish Protestant party on Tuesday in an attempt to save her premiership and avoid a second election that would thrust Brexit negotiations into turmoil.

"We've had some very good discussions today and those discussions are continuing this afternoon", she said.

DUP sources have told the BBC an announcement on a deal with Tories had been delayed because of the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower blaze.

It comes after Mrs May told Tory MPs: "I'm the person who got us into this mess and I'm the one who will get us out of it".

Sinn Fein, which won seven seats in the British parliament at last week's election but will maintain its policy of not taking them, said its leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle, O'Neill would repeat those concerns in London on Thursday.

Mr Adams, addressing claims of Sinn Fein disengagement, said: "We want into the institutions, because that is what the people desire, that is what the people voted for".

"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".

Ms Foster dismissed suggestions her deal with the Tories threatened the peace process.

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Former Prime Minister David Cameron said May needed to listen to rival political parties, and that there would be pressure for a softer Brexit.

The source confirmed there was no need for a deal on a so-called "confidence and supply" arrangement to be sealed in order to press ahead with the Speech, and said Mrs May wanted the Government to "get on with its business".

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn also congratulated Bercow, adding his movement was ready to provide a "strong and stable" government should May fail to negotiate her "coalition of chaos" - a clear jab at the Conservative leader's campaign slogans.

The DUP leader declined to give details of what she termed a "positive engagement with the Conservative Party", but said she would be travelling to London late on Monday for discussions with her team of 10 MPs before a meeting with Mrs May at Downing Street on Tuesday.

He wouldn't be drawn on whether he supported Britain's continued membership in the single market and said May's minority government will negotiate in a "pragmatic" manner, striving for a solution that works for both sides.

May needs the support of the DUP to govern, after a disastrous election result in which she lost her parliamentary majority.

While the DUP are deeply eurosceptic, they have balked at some of the practical implications of a so-call hard Brexit - including a potential loss of a "frictionless border" with the Republic of Ireland - and talks will touch on efforts to minimize the potential damage to Northern Ireland.

We also respect the other parties' mandates.


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