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UK PM Thersa May and DUP have largely agreed support deal

UK PM Thersa May and DUP have largely agreed support deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May began talks on Tuesday to form an alliance with Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative DUP party in order to cling to power after her election fiasco, leaving the EU's Brexit negotiator wondering when divorce talks will begin.

May will also be reliant upon the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who would help her edge past the 326 votes needed in parliament to avoid the government collapsing.

Theresa May is set to meet the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party in Downing Street as she seeks a deal to enable the Conservatives to govern.

"I think change is brought about, certainly in Northern Ireland, by persuasion, by people working together and the best way actually to achieve these is to get the Northern Ireland Assembly back up and running, and I hope that will also be possible".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn countered with a bit of previously unseen swagger, wearing a huge red rose - his party's symbol - in his lapel as he sparred with May and taunted her about the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming vote on her legislative program, known as the Queen's Speech.

The talks with the DUP follow her apology to Conservative rank-and-file lawmakers in a meeting for the party's poor election result.

"I'm the person who got us into this mess and I'm the one who will get us out of it", she said.

May called the snap election in April aiming to win a big majority so that Britain would enjoy a strong hand in Brexit negotiations without opposition parties and Tory rebels holding her back. The Evening Standard, edited by ex-Treasury chief George Osborne, reported that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour lawmakers to come up with a "softer", less hard-line divorce from the EU.

Mrs May said nothing to reporters as she left Downing Street by auto shortly after 2.15pm for a trip to France to meet the new French president.

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Asked if that meant the Government would work with Labour, Mr Gove replied: "Well the parliamentary arithmetic is such that we are going to have to work with everyone". Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn has close ties to Sinn Fein and the Sinn Fein MPs are understood to be hoping that in return for their support, Mr. Corbyn would back a call for a referendum on Northern Ireland leaving the United Kingdom and joining Ireland.

Even the idea of an alliance is complicated, however.

Mrs Foster has also rejected suggestions that the mooted agreement could undermine a return to power-sharing arrangements at Stormont amid claims from political rivals the Government's stated impartiality as a mediator would be fatally undermined.

A source close to the party said on Saturday that the deal between the DUP and May's Conservative Party was likely to steer clear of social issues such as abortion and gay rights and focus instead on additional funding for the British province.

The stakes for May are high.

It is thought the two parties could agree a "confidence and supply" deal, which would be looser than a coalition or pact, but see the DUP supporting the Tories on the Queen's Speech and motions of no confidence.

"But we do want to do so in the national interest to give stability to the government and that's why we will be entering these negotiations", she said.

He also pointed out that three months after Article 50 had been triggered, formal discussions had yet to start.

Speaking in an interview with various European publications, Michel Barnier warned that time is "passing quicker than anyone believes - because the subjects we need to deal with are extraordinarily complex from a technical, judicial and financial point of view".


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