Brussels left waiting as May tries to clinch deal

Cheryl Sanders
June 15, 2017

However DUP leader Arlene Foster has tweeted: "Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion".

"Going overseas and being seen to be the prime minister and talking to the president of France... is a classic move to shore up authority at home", said Colin Talbot, professor of government at the University of Manchester.

The Irish republican Sinn Fein party - which won seven seats in the election although MPs traditionally do not take up their seats in protest - is also wary of the alliance.

"It is clear that our country faces some of the greatest challenges of our time", she told parliament.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated May on "returning as PM" and said he "looked forward to this Parliament, however short it may be".

The talks revolve around support from the DUP on a vote-by-vote basis in parliament, rather than a formal coalition government.

Sinn Fein, SDLP and the cross-community Alliance have all also already made clear that Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire can not chair the ongoing process to restore power-sharing at Stormont due to a perceived conflict of interest caused by the deal.

"What we're doing in relation to the talks that we're holding, the productive talks we're holding with the Democratic Unionist Party, is ensuring that it is possible to, with their support, give the stability to the United Kingdom government that I think is necessary at this time", May told a news conference in Paris following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Later on Wednesday, it emerged that the leaders of Sinn Féin, an Irish nationalist party and a political opponent of the DUP, would meet May at Downing Street on Thursday.

More than 735,000 people have signed a petition in three days condemning the proposed alliance, saying it is a "disgusting, desperate attempt to stay in power". Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew: "This new arrangement is very unsettling and people are concerned and anxious about what it may mean". She lost her majority and now needs to broker a deal with the DUP.

The DUP leader declined to give details of what she termed a "positive engagement with the Conservative Party".

But a lacklustre campaign saw her high approval rating slip away, and support for her "hard Brexit" strategy - pulling out of the European single market and customs union - now hangs in the balance.

Major said his list of concerns included how a post-Brexit Britain would resolve the issue of the Northern Ireland border with Ireland, the UK's only land border with the European Union.

Barnier said: "The subjects we need to deal with are extraordinarily complex from a technical, judicial and financial point of view", according to an interview with the Financial Times and other European newspapers. That's why we're ready to start very quickly.

With the two-year clock on Brexit ticking since March, when a letter from May formally started proceedings, Mr Barnier dismissed the suggestion of postponing the negotiations and said such a delay would prompt only further instability.

Reports suggested that the Queen's speech and the Brexit negotiations could be delayed as a result.

Sir John said: "The views of the 48 per cent can not be brushed aside as some of the more rigorous hardline Brexiteers wish..."

Other reports by iNewsToday