Northern Ireland's DUP says talks with Conservatives to continue in London

  • Northern Ireland's DUP says talks with Conservatives to continue in London

Northern Ireland's DUP says talks with Conservatives to continue in London

TALKS between Theresa May and the DUP failed to finalize a deal to prop up her minority government yesterday - but Arlene Foster voiced hope that it could be signed off "sooner rather than later".

The anticipated deal with the DUP has forced Mrs May to reject claims that the Government will fatally undermine its supposed impartiality in Northern Ireland, in particular in the ongoing process to restore Stormont powe-rsharing.

As she attempts to cobble together a majority, European Union chief negotiator Michel Barnier said he would hold talks with British envoy Olly Robbins to organise the negotiations.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement commits the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to demonstrate "rigorous impartiality" in all their dealings with the different groups in Northern Ireland.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, echoing remarks by French President Emmanuel Macron, said the door to Europe remained open to Britain, and it was up to the British people whether they wanted to change their minds about leaving the EU.

Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican party, said the prospect of a deal between the Conservatives and the DUP is causing anxiety and fear, and such a move undermines power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland.

The Conservative source said the talks to leave the European Union would not be delayed, removing the question mark over the negotiations being derailed by May's lack of a parliamentary majority lost in an election she did not need to call.

Former British prime minister John Major said the support of the DUP could pitch the province back into turmoil by persuading "hard men" on both sides of the divide to return to violence.

"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", she said.

While the DUP are deeply eurosceptic, they have balked at some of the practical implications of a so-called hard Brexit - including a potential loss of an open border with the Republic of Ireland - and talks will touch on efforts to minimize the potential damage to Northern Ireland.

He said: "We will continue to take the fight to the Tories and I will be out campaigning around the country in Conservative marginals in those extra seats we need to gain to deliver the government for the many that nearly 13 million people voted for last week".

"I think there will be pressure for a softer Brexit", Mr. Cameron added, saying that Parliament now "deserves a say" on the issue.

"That is why we're ready to start very quickly".

"We stand at a critical time with those Brexit negotiations starting only next week - I think that stability is important".

Liberal Democrat MP Alistair Carmichael said: The Conservatives can not go from weak and wobbly to business as usual in three days.

"The first phase of the negotiations will tackle three main areas: safeguarding the rights of citizens, financial settlement of the UK's obligations and the new external borders of the European Union", the Commission said.