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'Significant progress' in Theresa May's talks with the DUP

'Significant progress' in Theresa May's talks with the DUP

The PM told the backbench 1922 Committee on Monday that a deal with the DUP would not affect powersharing talks in Northern Ireland or LGBT rights.

Two decades of peace in Northern Ireland could be at risk if the United Kingdom's new government relies on the support of Ulster's Democratic Unionist Party, which represents one of the two formerly warring sides, former Prime Minister John Major said on Tuesday. A contrite May took responsibility for losing her party's majority; 'I've got us into the mess and I will get us out of it.' She also promised to help those who had lost their seats and said sorry a couple of times.

Jeremy Corbyn told the first meeting of Labour MPs following the general election that he needed their unity ahead of a possible second election as Theresa May's government "has no mandate and no legitimacy".

The leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party, Arlene Foster, arrived in Downing Street on Tuesday for talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May.

It is thought Mrs Foster, despite being a Brexit supporter, could seek assurances from Mrs May that she will pursue a softer exit from the European Union, given Northern Ireland's 56% Remain vote and the DUP's desire not to see a return to a hard border with Ireland.

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May, who ahead of the June referendum supported remaining in the European Union, has promised to start the formal Brexit talks next week but opponents of a sharp break with the European Union took her woes as a chance to push back against her strategy.

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 DUP leader declined to give details of what she termed a "positive engagement with the Conservative Party". The Evening Standard, edited by ex-Treasury chief George Osborne, is reporting that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour lawmakers.

Foster will nearly certainly ask for greater investment in Northern Ireland as part of the deal, as well as guarantees on support for pension plans and for winter fuel allowances for older people.

Describing any potential partnership as "a coalition of chaos", SF's Gerry Adams said: 'Any deal which undercuts in any way the process here or the Good Friday Agreement is one which has to be opposed'.

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A Conservative source said there was so far no deal to announce and that a decision on the timing of any announcement would have to wait until an agreement was finalised.

The stakes for May are high as lawmakers return for their first day of business Tuesday. If that happens, Corbyn will demand a chance to try to form a government by uniting progressive factors in the House of Commons.

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

"My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex", he added.

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