DUP agreement will end 'no deal' Brexit talk

DUP leader Arlene Foster has returned to Northern Ireland after talks with the Prime Minister earlier this week, so her deputy, Nigel Dodds MP, was to lead the DUP delegation on Thursday.

A senior Conservative source said talks will continue this afternoon and the State Opening of Parliament has been set for Wednesday. "We want to see a Brexit that works for everybody, not just in Northern Ireland from my perspective, but in the Republic of Ireland as well, so it is about a sensible Brexit", she said.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement - a major development in the Northern Ireland peace process - commits the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to demonstrate "rigorous impartiality" in their dealings with the different political traditions in Northern Ireland.

The deadline set by the British government for an agreement is 29 June before it considers the introduction of direct rule from Westminster, or the more unlikely option of new Assembly elections.

Arlene Foster said it was "right and proper" that her Democratic Unionist Party would vote for May's Queen's Speech next week.

The DUP and Sinn Fein are taking part in Thursday's talks at Downing Street, along with smaller parties. "Any agreement the DUP secures and any of the things we can win over for Northern Ireland will be for everyone in Northern Ireland", the DUP sources added. Backbenchers said they wanted to remind the prime minister of how she had been "drained of all power" following the party's dismal election campaign and the loss of her majority.

"We remain fully committed to making the institutions work", she said.

The Conservative source said: "We're confident of getting an agreement, we're confident that the Queen's speech will be passed".

A YouGov poll for The Times suggested the public are not happy with the plan either, with 48 per cent saying they had an unfavourable view of it.

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR will meet with the leadership of both Sinn Féin and the DUP today, hoping to break the impasse that has left the North without an Executive since March.

The former Northern Ireland First Minister said her meeting with Mr Varadkar was very good and that she was looking forward to a very positive relationship with the Irish premier.

The Conservative source said the talks to leave the European Union would not be delayed, removing the question mark over the negotiations being derailed by May's lack of a parliamentary majority lost in an election she did not need to call.

  • Leroy Wright