N.Ireland's DUP says talks ongoing with PM May's Conservatives
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 11, 2017,
Jun 11, 2017, 21:06
As May struggled to contain the fallout, her two closest aides resigned.
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has emerged as the favorite to replace May. It was an epic blunder, summarised most succinctly when ex-English footballer Gary Lineker tweeted, "I think Theresa May has won own goal of the season".
May called the early election in April, when opinion polls suggested she was set for a sweeping win. Gavin Barwell was named new chief of staff.
This is likely to pose an obstacle to the types of strict border controls advocated by those in the Conservative Party who support a "hard" Brexit. Despised by the media and questioned by many within his party, he has managed to come out looking like a victor. "That's not a matter for me", she said.
Under the confidence and supply deal, the DUP would not have any of its MPs become government or cabinet ministers but would support Conservative legislation on a case-by-case basis.
A party spokesman confirmed the resignation of Hill, a combative character who one former colleague said had helped create a "toxic" atmosphere at the heart of the government.
The little-known, ultraconservative DUP party said "talks so far have been positive". Still the deal with the DUP risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland.
There was no mention of what concessions the DUP may have asked for, amid growing concern about the influence of a party opposed to abortion and gay marriage, and which has proved hugely controversial in the past over the homophobic and sectarian views of some of its representatives.
Britain's typically pro-Conservative press savaged May yesterday and questioned whether she could remain in power, only two months after she started the clock ticking on the two-year European Union divorce process. The election result means businesses still have no idea what trading rules they can expect in the coming years.
Downing Street's backtrack came after the DUP released a statement just before midnight on Saturday, denying that any arrangement had been made. "For instance, if London were to stay in the customs union, then it would not have to renegotiate all trade agreements", he told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung newspaper.
The British pound tumbled against the US dollar and the euro after the election result.
May also undertook to keep senior ministers, saying they would remain in their posts, despite rumours that she had been ready to sack Finance Minister Philip Hammond following a clash over her Brexit strategy.
May has said Brexit talks will begin on June 19 as scheduled, the same day as the formal reopening of parliament.
May's Downing Street office said Sunday she had spoken with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), to discuss finalizing a deal when parliament is reconvened next week. "That's not a matter for me", she said.
Britain's largely pro-Conservative press questioned whether May could remain in power.
She seems secure for the immediate future, because senior Conservatives don't want to plunge the party into a damaging leadership contest.
But after a poor campaign and an unexpectedly stiff challenge from the opposition Labour Party under leader Jeremy Corbyn, her plan went disastrously wrong, leaving her unable to form a sustainable government without DUP support. It said Britain was "effectively leaderless" and the "country all but ungovernable".
"The Conservatives have not yet broken the British system of democracy, but through their hubris and incompetence they have managed to make a mockery of it", it said in an editorial.
If she is to succeed in delivering the wishes of 52 percent of the public and take Britain out of the European Union, she must find a way to secure the full support of her party to pass legislation preparing for and enacting the departure. May's party won 318 seats, 12 fewer than it had before May called a snap election, and eight short of the 326 needed for an outright majority. She has said she favours retaining the greatest possible level of access to Europe's single market.
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