PM May nears DUP deal

"They would see it as the government paying cash for votes in parliament, and in doing so I think that could well cost votes in the country for the Conservative party, by the bucketload, at a subsequent election", he said.

They are hoping to ramp up the pressure on the region's largest political party to change its stance at a time when its policies on social issues are under renewed scrutiny due to the likely parliamentary deal with the minority Tory government.

The Irish republican Sinn Fein party which won seven seats in the election although MPs traditionally do not take up their seats in protest is also wary of the alliance. Some involved in the Irish peace process are alarmed because the 1998 Good Friday peace accords call for the British government to be neutral in the politics of Northern Ireland.

Days after Mrs May lost her parliamentary majority in a failed electoral gamble, she welcomed the leader of the DUP to Downing Street in a bid to gain the support of its 10 MPs.

Prior to the election, May had said that the United Kingdom would be leaving the single market and the customs union and she repeatedly insisted that "no deal is better than a bad deal".

The interview is Barnier's first since being appointed the European Union's lead man on Brexit.

"This new arrangement is very unsettling and people are concerned and anxious about what it may mean", Sinn Fein MP Michelle Glidernew told AFP.

"It's passing quicker than anyone believes..."

"We want to know what is in the deal they are offering to the DUP and we want to know when it is going to be put before Parliament", he said.

Nigel Farage, former head of the eurosceptic UK Independence Party, admitted that after May's election disaster Britain is in a "very weak" negotiating position.

Ms Foster said the talks deadline remained "realistic".

In the talks to restore the assembly, which began on Monday, issues such as the introduction of an Irish language act, supported by Sinn Féin but opposed by the DUP, could also prove crucial.

As talks go on, the European Union unveiled plans to give itself new powers over London's banking business after Brexit, in what could be a blow to the city's supremacy as a global financial hub.

The UK's Brexit minister, David Davis, will open divorce talks in Brussels next week with an offer to allow the three million European Union citizens living in Britain the same rights that they have now, the Financial Times reported on Wednesday (14 June).

She told the influential 1922 Committee of backbench MPs that she had got the party into "this mess" by calling the snap election, but she would "get us out of it".

The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions of Brexit.

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. Government bond prices suffered heavy losses on Tuesday after consumer price inflation jumped to 2.9 percent in May.

Asked about Schaeuble's comments, Macron said the EU's door was still open for Britain as long as the negotiations were not finished, but that it would be hard to reverse course.

  • Leroy Wright