Northern Ireland's DUP wants "sensible Brexit", talks with May to continue

Prime Minister David Cameron's representatives met with Peter Robinson's DUP and drafted an agreement should the Northern Ireland party hold the balance of power

Prime Minister David Cameron's representatives met with Peter Robinson's DUP and drafted an agreement should the Northern Ireland party hold the balance of power

British Prime Minister Theresa May's government said on Thursday it would launch her policy program next week, a sign of confidence she will strike a deal to stay in power after days of political uncertainty since losing her majority. "We are continuing to have talks but today, as you will imagine, there has been a real focus on this bad tragedy in London", May said.

So far issues between the two parties have stopped an agreement.

She said: "I think there is a unity of goal among people in the United Kingdom".

Conservative Party sources say May wants to show her government is up and running but her loss of authority in last week's election will make it harder to handle a hectic agenda - Brexit talks with the European Union, tackling a slowing economy, a political crisis in Ireland, and a devastating fire in London. "There's no doubt about that, but perhaps an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it", he said at a conference in Poland.

The chancellor, Philip Hammond, is preparing to fight for the United Kingdom to remain within the EU's customs union which could safeguard jobs and trade with EU members but would severely restrict the UK's ability to strike its own trade deals around the world. "The reality is that where we stand follows logically from leaving, so, if we're leaving, what we need to do is do it smoothly and successfully and gain economic benefit".

Macron said the door was "always open" for Britain to remain in the European Union as long as the negotiations on Brexit have not finished.

On Tuesday afternoon, Foster indicated that a deal was close to being finalised.

Sir John Major is one of those urging caution. The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions: Data on Wednesday showed average weekly pay in the three months to April was down 0.4 percent, year-on-year, in inflation-adjusted terms - the biggest fall since the three months to September 2014. Whatever her ultimate plan, she will be heavily reliant upon the 10 lawmakers from the eurosceptic DUP, who would help her edge past the 326 votes needed in parliament to avoid the government collapsing.

While Sinn Féin will not be best pleased that the DUP will have such a pivotal role in facilitating the Brexit process, given that the majority of voters in Northern Ireland voted to remain in the European Union in last year's referendum, their influence on the British government may help make it a softer exit, which would suit the Republic of Ireland better.

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said: "I will be making it very clear that any deal between the Tories and the DUP can not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday and subsequent agreements".

"The talks are ongoing, they are very positive, they are constructive".

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