Wednesday, 18 October, 2017

United Kingdom prime minister, N Ireland party to hold alliance talks

Wilma Wheeler | 16 June, 2017, 04:52

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".

Major's main warning, however, in an interview that was unforgiving in its assessment of May's planned deal with the DUP, was on implications for the Northern Ireland peace process.

His appointment as a Brexit minister will help to reassure Brexiteers on the Conservative backbenches that Ms May is not planning a significant softening of her approach to negotiating with the EU.

The chaos has also weighed on the pound, which has plunged nearly two percent since Thursday, and the government may have to delay the announcement of its policy plans to parliament.

May however has vowed to stay on, and on Sunday unveiled a largely unchanged new cabinet, which met for the first time on Monday.

The DUP, which is Northern Ireland's largest unionist party, won 10 seats in last week's election, enough to give the Conservatives a slim majority in the House of Commons.

"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 DUP agreement.

Brexit minister David Davis has insisted the approach to the European Union divorce had not changed, but at the meeting with lawmakers on Monday, May recognized that a broader consensus needed to be built for Brexit and made clear she would listen to all wings of the party on the issue.

He suggested the DUP would be asking for money and that would be seen as the "government paying cash for votes in parliament", and would be received badly in other parts of the UK. A softer Brexit would mean that the United Kingdom would try to retain some elements of participation in the common market and continue cooperating with the European Union in other areas, such as security.

Supporters of "hard" and "soft" Brexit tried to take advantage of the political chaos in Britain on Monday to promote their visions amid fears that their rivalry could revive old divisions in the Conservative party.

She needs DUP support to cling to power after her election fiasco, leaving the European Union's Brexit negotiator wondering when divorce talks will begin. Sterling's effective exchange rate dropped by 1.4% the day after the 8 June elections, for a total depreciation of 12.2% since the Brexit vote of 23 June 2016.

In a statement regarding the fire, a spokesman for 10 Downing Street, said: "The prime minister is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life in Grenfell Tower and is being kept constantly updated on the situation".

After the Labour party made hefty electoral gains by focusing heavily on social issues, May listed areas such as education and housing as top policy priorities.

He said: "If we work seriously, I see neither the usefulness nor the interest of pushing back this date. Why?" 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".

The DUP is also far more socially conservative than the Conservatives.

The head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service, Sir Malcolm McKibbin, has already taken on responsibility for moderating numerous exchanges, with Sinn Fein and the SDLP having already questioned the impartiality of Mr Brokenshire earlier in the process.


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