Brexit talks left hanging as May tries to form alliance
- Author: Leroy Wright Jun 18, 2017,
Jun 18, 2017, 15:03
The DUP, Sinn Féin, the UUP, Alliance and the SDLP will hold separate meetings with Theresa May.
Commenting on the proposed DUP-Conservative deal, Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion said her party's priority was "defending the Good Friday Agreement, protecting our public services and establishing an executive based on equality and respect".
Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists both agree a deal to restore a powersharing administration in Northern Ireland can be done by the end of the month.
The fire dealt a fresh blow to the capital less than two weeks after the London Bridge terrorist attack.
Arlene Foster, the leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), met May for talks in Downing Street on Tuesday but Sky News reported she had returned to Belfast on Wednesday evening, leaving party colleagues to continue the negotiations.
British Prime Minister Theresa May will try to clinch a deal on Wednesday that would allow her minority government to survive, as European Union leaders voice growing impatience to start Brexit negotiations.
Yet some of his fellow hard Brexiteers are dismayed at any softening of an agreement with the European Union and want the PM to stick to her red line, set out before the election, that "no deal is better than a bad deal". "They are the co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement". "We are absolutely committed to our impartial role", a spokesperson for the prime minister told Business Insider on Monday.
"I'm afraid this new arrangement that sees the DUP propping up Theresa May and her Conservative government makes that increasingly hard".
Despite this, the party's seven MPs have stressed they will not be taking their seats in the Commons, and claimed doing so would be against the wishes of those who voted them into office.
When May announced an early election in April, the Tories enjoyed leads of up to 20% over Labour in most opinion polls, while May's personal approval ratings were streets ahead of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's.
The newspaper said Britain wanted these rights to be available only to those European Union nationals who were living in the country before March 29 this year, when the government triggered the start of the two-year process of leaving the EU.
Her failure to win a majority has put May under pressure over her Brexit plans from inside and outside her party and has prompted complaints about her choice of partner due to the DUP's stance on social issues such as gay marriage and abortion. Instead, after a botched campaign focussed entirely on May, the Conservative Party lost its majority in last Thursday's election.
The talks are aimed at restoring devolved government to Northern Ireland following the collapse of the Stormont Assembly which worked on the basis of shared power.
The late deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, stood down to protest the DUP's handling of an energy scandal, in a move that triggered a snap election.
Mr Eastwood said in a statement: "The context in which the talks process is now being asked to operate in could have very serious consequences if there is any suggestion of a back room deal with the DUP".
Separately, the DUP is negotiating with Conservatives on a deal which would allow Theresa May form a minority government.