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DUP head: Talks with UK Conservatives going well

DUP head: Talks with UK Conservatives going well

"There was an update on the on-going talks with the DUP", the Prime Minister's official spokesman said.

Leave campaigner Michael Gove has indicated the Government is ready to pursue a softer Brexit deal and work with Labour to get it through Parliament.

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".

Conservative former Prime Minister Sir John, who was crucial in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, raised concerns about the impact of a Tory deal with the DUP.

'Although I don't expect it suddenly to collapse, because there's a broad consensus that wishes it to continue, I think we have to take care with it and take care that everything we do does not exaggerate the underlying differences that still are there in the Northern Ireland community'.

A Downing Street source said the talks had been "constructive" but refused to put a timescale on when they would conclude.

"But we are going into these talks with the national interest at heart", Foster had said ahead of the meeting.

The leader of the Scottish Conservatives Ruth Davidson, who is a lesbian, had spoken out on the issue after telling the Prime Minister that she considers equality to be more important than party politics.

Before the election, May proposed a clean break from the European Union, involving withdrawal from Europe's single market, limits on immigration and a bespoke customs deal with the EU.

"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.

Despite her party's expectations of a landslide victory May lost her majority in parliament, pushing her into rushed talks on a support agreement with a small Eurosceptic Northern Irish Protestant party with 10 parliamentary seats.

While a deal with the DUP would help May stay in power to open Brexit talks that are due to begin next week, it would also risk destabilizing the political balance in Northern Ireland by increasing the influence of pro-British unionists.

The Prime Minister will also meet the other Northern Ireland parties, the SDLP, the Ulster Unionists and the Alliance.

"I will have a problem with it if money which is being given to Northern Ireland for purposes that are devolved to Wales and Scotland", he told BBC Radio Wales' Good Evening Wales programme.

At a joint press conference with Mrs May in Paris on Tuesday night, France's President Emmanuel Macron suggested the door was still open for the United Kingdom to remain within the European Union.

Barnier's interview will heap yet more pressure on May, who called a snap general election to give her a stronger hand at the Brexit negotiating table.


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