DUP meet May in London as concern grows about implications for Stormont

Colin Talbot, a professor of government at the University of Manchester, said the Paris trip was part of May's strategy to improve her position at home.

Mr Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, was also asked about a Daily Telegraph report that senior Cabinet ministers were engaged in secret talks with Labour MPs to secure a soft Brexit.

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

"I can't negotiate with myself", he told the Financial Times.

"I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out", she told her Conservative MPs.

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

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

The deal also prompted Irish premier Enda Kenny to warn that such an alliance could upset Northern Ireland's fragile peace.

London's neutrality is key to the delicate balance of power in Northern Ireland, which was once plagued by violence over Britain's control of the province.

"My understanding is that the DUP, like the Conservative Party, has a shared interest in making sure we have a stable government", he told BBC radio.

May's botched election gamble cost her Conservative Party its majority in the 650-seat parliament last week, weakening her hand just days before talks with the European Union on a divorce that has to be agreed before an exit due in March 2019.

Perhaps the most significant of all for businesses, including the 800-odd Indian firms in Britain, will be the government's stance on Brexit, and whether the result will force the government to revisit its plans to deliver on a so-called "hard Brexit", moving out of the customs union and single market.

As May attempts to cobble together a majority, the EU's Barnier said he will hold talks with British envoy Olly Robbins on Tuesday to organise the negotiations. "We are ready as soon as the United Kingdom itself is ready". It is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex.

"But she was also resolute and determined in plotting a path over the course of the next five years which will ensure the country emerges stronger and which will ensure that we not only strengthen the economy but also invest more in public services and make sure the quality of people's lives is enhanced".

"Going overseas and being seen to be the prime minister and talking to the president of France, being seen to be wheeler-dealing on the global stage, is a classic move to shore up authority at home", he told AFP.

The two are proposing penalties including fines against technology companies that fail to remove extremist content.

A diplomatic source said the meeting consisted of preparatory discussions ahead of the main talks and that further contacts would continue this week.

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