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Theresa May's DUP deal gives us a government 'more extreme than UKIP'

17 Juin 2017

The announcement followed speculation that talks may have to be delayed because of the inconclusive outcome of last week's General Election, which has already forced the State Opening of Parliament to be put back from June 19 to 21.

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) leader Arlene Foster and deputy leader Nigel Dodds speak to the media at Stormont Castle ahead of talks aimed at restoring powersharing in Northern Ireland, in in Belfast, Monday, June 12, 2017.

May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result after calling a vote three years early in the hope of bolstering her slim majority, only to actually lose seats.

"One thing we have made clear to the prime minister is that we are concerned that any deal reached is open and transparent and that everybody gets to see the entire negotiation", Ulster Unionist leader Robin Swann said. "I think there is a unity of goal among people in the United Kingdom", May said following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday.

Mr Verhofstadt said that a year on from the European Union referendum in the United Kingdom, it was time to start Brexit negotiations, due to kick off on June 19, amid speculation they could be delayed by fallout from last week's General Election.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster has tweeted that discussions with British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party are "going well" and that she hopes for a conclusion soon.

"It's going to be hard, there's no doubt about that, but perhaps an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it", he said.

The announcement by Brexit Secretary David Davis and European Union negotiator Michel Barnier follows preliminary talks in Brussels between officials. "I can't negotiate with myself".

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There is also a question mark over the opening of the UK's Brexit negotiations with Brussels - which are due to get underway the same day.

Meanwhile, talks are continuing between the DUP and Conservatives, to secure the support of the DUP's 10 MPs in steering government business, including crucial measures on Brexit, through the Commons.

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.

Though Foster supported Brexit, she also might demand that May pursue a cushioned exit from the European Union, given her party's wish that a soft border remain between Northern Ireland and Ireland, an European Union member.

That's why we're ready to start very quickly.

"People knew that we were abstentionist MPs, they have elected us to represent them but not to take our seats".

Speaking in Paris last night, Mrs May insisted the deal would ensure "we have stability of government in the national interest" and insisted it would not harm the peace process.