Published: Sun, June 18, 2017
World | By Carl Welch

UK Parliament opening date set, suggesting Tory deal reached

UK Parliament opening date set, suggesting Tory deal reached

The talks are being closely watched in European capitals as they could delay the expected start of Brexit negotiations next week.

A deal between the government and the Democratic Unionist party will not be announced on Wednesday because of the calamitous fire that engulfed a tower block in west London.

Mrs Foster said: "There's been a lot of commentary around the issues that we are talking about and it won't surprise anyone that we are talking about matters that pertain, of course, to the nation generally".

Ms Foster said: "We've had some very good discussions".

"I think there is a unity of goal among people in the United Kingdom".

In a punchy intervention created to hike the pressure on Downing Street, he is also asking how last week's election result will affect the position on issues like Single Market membership, after days of speculation of a softer approach to Brexit from Prime Minister Theresa May. Her gamble failed spectacularly.

May wants to pull Britain out of the single market, largely to control immigration, and then negotiate a trade deal with the EU. May will meet DUP leader Arlene Foster in London on Tuesday.

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.

Speaking yesterday Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said that the United Kingdom government would do everything they can to restore the power-sharing institutions. May in return for the DUP's support, but there are indications the party will be seeking more funding for Northern Ireland programs as well as a softer line on Brexit talks.

Sinn Fein MPs have traditionally refused to sit in Westminster because they won't swear an oath to the Queen.

Sinn Fein's Michelle Gildernew (Fermanagh and South Tyrone) raised concern about an alliance, saying: "This new arrangement is very unsettling and people are concerned and wary of what it may mean, and what promises will be given or promises extracted from Theresa May".

As May attempts to cobble together a majority, the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier warned that time was passing in an interview on Tuesday.

"But, let us be clear and organized and once the negotiations have started we should be well aware that it'll be more hard to move backwards", he noted.

Her most senior minister Damian Green has confirmed the Queen's Speech setting out the Government's programme could be delayed if a deal is not reached in time for it to go ahead on Monday as planned. "The current uncertainty can not continue", he said on Twitter.

Talks for a new relationship between London and Brussels will start on June 19.

"The Tory civil war on the European Union which has ripped it apart since the Maastricht rebellions of the early 1990s, and which the referendum was supposed to solve, is now raging again", said Chris Grey, an academic who specialises in Brexit at Royal Holloway college in London.

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