Talks between Theresa May and DUP 'going well'

Theresa May has told Conservative lawmakers she would serve as prime minister as long as they wanted her after a botched election gamble cost the party its majority in parliament and weakened Britain's hand days before formal Brexit negotiations. "The intent is to ensure that we have the stability of Government in the national interest".

The DUP gained 10 seats in the election last week.

Mrs Foster had earlier waved to the press pack as she arrived with colleague Nigel Dodds at Number 10 around 12.50pm, but refused to confirm to reporters whether she would agree to a deal.

Sinn Fein said that it was important there was transparency over any deal between the Conservatives and the DUP, and that compromises over certain policy areas could hinder efforts to form a new Northern Irish executive.

Yvonne Galligan is a professor and former acting head of the school of history, anthropology, philosophy and politics at Queen's University Belfast. "Basically it will be Theresa May signing checks for the foreseeable future or a monthly direct debit, as it were, into Northern Ireland's coffers".

The government is under pressure from Labour and the Social Democratic and Labour party to deliver a pre-election pledge to force Northern Irish political parties to declare their donors.

Political parties from Northern Ireland do not have to disclose their donors to the public, although they are expected to inform the Electoral Commission.

The DUP's desire is not to see a return to a hard border with Ireland, while Northern Ireland delivered a 56% Remain vote in last year's European Union referendum.

The Prime Minister may not be present as the talks continue because she is heading to Paris for a meeting with newly elected president Emmanuel Macron.

A failure to gain support from the Northern Irish party would risk the Queen's Speech being voted down next week, and Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will be pushing hard for that outcome.

But if Mrs May was flustered by continued media coverage of the party's anti-LGBT stances, she didn't show it while appearing in the House of Commons today for the election of the Speaker.

Before the election, May proposed a clean break from the European Union, involving withdrawal from Europe's single market, limits on immigration and a bespoke customs deal with the EU.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the government should put economic growth at the heart of its Brexit strategy, while some senior ministers have pushed for less focus on immigration and more on jobs. The Evening Standard, edited by ex-Treasury chief George Osborne, reported that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour lawmakers to come up with a "softer", less hard-line divorce from the EU.

So we are very, very positive, and I hope that Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition on this issue - when our Prime Minister is in Brussels arguing for the whole country - that they understand they said they wanted the same things and that's what she's trying to deliver.

May reportedly took full responsibility for the result but vowed to lead the Tories through the term if MPs backed her.

But Mr Macron appeared to suggest the United Kingdom could change its mind about Brexit, saying: "Of course the door remains open, always open, until the Brexit negotiations come to an end".

The DUP supported Brexit but the party is not in favour of Ms.

"The link to Brexit seems clear", said the Office.

  • Zachary Reyes