UK PM Theresa May to meet Irish party leader on government formation

UK PM Theresa May to meet Irish party leader on government formation

Sinn Fein has warned such a move undermines powersharing talks in Northern Ireland and the party's seven MPs have flown to London where they will hold a briefing with reporters.

In a shakeup following last week's election fiasco, May fired the Brexit-supporting David Jones from her ministerial team, while George Bridges, who steered legislation through the upper house of Parliament, quit. I just hope He stands a better chance of scoring a comeback than Nick Clegg.

Afterwards Mrs Foster repeated her assertion that the negotiations would focus on UK-wide interests.

A failure to gain support from the Northern Irish party would risk the Queen's Speech being voted down next week, and Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will be pushing hard for that outcome.

As negotiations were underway in Downing Street, John Major told BBC Radio 4's World at One program that any such arrangement would be viewed by voters - particularly in Scotland and Wales - as "the government paying cash for votes in parliament".

There are suggestions the DUP could demand additional funding for Northern Ireland projects for its support.

There was a "danger", he said, that the United Kingdom government - required under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement to be an impartial broker in power-sharing arrangements between unionists and republicans in Northern Ireland - would not be seen by Sinn Féin and Northern Irish republican communities to be performing that role if they were "locked into a parliamentary deal, at Westminster", with the DUP.

And he highlighted the danger of "hard men still there, lurking in the corners of communities deciding they wish to return to some sort of violence".

"There was a real sense around the cabinet table today, as you would expect from centre right politicians, that that is the primacy we're looking for". Remaining in the Single Market would require acceptance of the four pillars of the European Union and retaining both the freedom of movement and the supremacy of the ECJ.

The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions of Brexit.

The ritual gave an opportunity for brief speeches from party leaders.

After House Speaker John Bercow was re-elected without challenge, a chastened May quipped: "At least someone got a landslide".

As well as meeting with DUP leader Arlene Foster, May is also set to travel to Paris later Tuesday to meet French President Emmanuel Macron to discuss how to tackle online extremism.

Lord Trimble was asked if the talks might result in the restoring of power-sharing institutions due to the threat of direct rule from Westminster by a Government involved with the DUP.

May's government appears determined to stay the course on Brexit.

In an article for the Times on Tuesday, the new Environment Secretary Michael Gove - who has clashed with May in the past - said she was the ideal person to secure a Brexit agreement that "commanded the widest possible support" given her track record of "seeing through vital jobs to the end". "It would have to be done in the next few weeks to have any hope of being in time for key stages of the exit talks", Hague wrote.

May's spokesman said it remained government policy to cut net migration to under 100,000 and Brexit Minister David Davis also said walking away without securing a deal with the remaining 27 European Union states remained a possibility.

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