Britain, EU in suspense

While some members of her party have said she will have to go eventually, May is expected to stay on as prime minister at least for now.

Following more than an hour of talks between May and DUP leader Arlene Foster on Tuesday, May said the discussion had been productive and Foster said she hoped a deal could be reached "sooner rather than later".

Mrs Foster arrived in Downing Street with Nigel Dodds at lunchtime for negotiations with the Prime Minister but they decamped to Parliament to allow Mrs May and the DUP's deputy leader to speak in the Commons.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is close to a deal with a far right-wing Northern Irish Protestant party to save her premiership, as she confirms Brexit talks will begin next week.

European Union leaders have voiced growing impatience to start Brexit negotiations, which have already been delayed by the parliamentary election - and on which the clock is ticking.

The Conservatives are having to rely on the support of 10 DUP MPs after they fell eight seats short of winning an overall majority in the June 8 snap general election.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, which saw its number of parliamentary seats and share of the vote increase, said there could be another election this year or early in 2018 after last Thursday's vote produced no clear victor. With their support, May can make up for her own party's shortfall by striking a so-called "confidence and supply" deal.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said on Tuesday that an agreement between the two sides would be concluded "soon".

The talks with the DUP follow her apology to Conservative rank-and-file lawmakers in a meeting for the party's poor election result.

The Daily Telegraph reported cabinet ministers have opened back channel talks to senior Labour lawmakers to secure a cross-party agreement on Brexit.

Pressed on the reports, Environment Secretary Michael Gove declined to deny it.

An organiser for the Women's March said the event was "for self-defining women, kids, non-binary people and all who love and support us".

She added that "Brexit, counter-terrorism and doing what's right for Northern Ireland in respect of economic matters" were among the issues being discussed.

Even the idea of an alliance is complicated, however.

The Democratic Unionist Party controls the Northern Irish Assembly.

Foster's rivals in Northern Ireland, such as Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, have objected, describing any partnership between the Conservatives and the DUP as "a coalition of chaos". The party won seven seats in last week's election and those MPs travelled to London on Tuesday to claim their offices.

Asked whether the United Kingdom would find "open doors" to the European Union should it change its mind, Mr Macron told the news conference that the door remained open as long as exit negotiations are not concluded, but it would be hard to walk back once negotiations start. Michel Barnier warned that no progress had been made in the three months since May triggered Article 50, starting the process of leaving the union.

The EU will keep the door open for Britain to return, but only on worse terms than it now has, European Parliament Brexit negotiator Guy Verhofstadt said Wednesday.

  • Leroy Wright