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DUP deal still possible, says senior Tory

22 Juin 2017

Senior Conservative sources said talks with the DUP were ongoing in the hope of reaching a confidence and supply arrangement, under which the Northern Irish party would not join the Government but would guarantee to ensure its survival by voting with it on financial measures and no-confidence motions.

The prospect of the DUP becoming the key partner in a Tory government has already slowed down these talks and added a layer of complexity to them.

Queen Elizabeth II will deliver a special speech Wednesday, written by May's government outlining its program in the new session of the parliament.

'On reaching such an agreement we will make sure that the details of that are made public so that people can see exactly what that is based on.

The program set out in the so-called Queen's Speech at the state opening of Parliament will include "a number of bills" meant to make Brexit successful, according to Prime Minister Theresa May's office. "Apart from all the Brexit elements there's huge domestic elements, about the economy, about infrastructure, about fighting injustices, helping people and all of that", he said.

Green, a longtime friend and close ally of May, insisted she would stay in place to deliver the programme, saying of the idea of a leadership challenge: "Now is absolutely not the time for anything like this".

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The Tories were shorn of their parliamentary majority a fortnight ago after the shock result in the snap General Election called by Prime Minister Theresa May.

One issue that has caused friction in talks is air passenger duty - an excise duty on passengers flying from airports in the United Kingdom - which the DUP want to be scrapped so that Belfast can compete with Dublin's airport.

"She knows that the Conservative party didn't get an absolute majority, but was by far the largest single party".

Leo Varadkar had expressed concern about a possible deal between the Conservative party and the DUP.

A briefing document issued alongside the speech said the government would intensify its consultations with businesses and other interested parties to "test and validate positions and to continue to build support from the business community as we move forward". It's also notable that May omitted several controversial policies touted in the Conservative election campaign, including plans to change funding for the care of older people, which opponents dubbed the "dementia tax".

The newly-appointed Taoiseach met with Prime Minister May in Downing Street, where he offered his sympathies on behalf of Ireland after the horrific fire and two recent terror attacks in London Bridge and Finsbury Park.