Opening of Parliament delayed amid deal talks

British Prime Minster Theresa May took a big gamble by calling for snap elections in the hope that she will boost her political fortunes and increase the majority seats of the Conservative Party on the eve of the Brexit talks with the EU.

Foster also said that while the eurosceptic DUP "believe in Brexit", they recognise the unique geography on the island of Ireland and want to see pragmatic talks between the European Union and Britain about what works for both the British province of Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, an EU member. "It is really for Sinn Fein to decide where they want those powers to lie".

On his talks in London with Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, he said they had offered an "Irish solution to an English problem" as giving Northern Ireland special European Union status after Brexit to keep an open border on the island. "We should be going for a financial deal".

The situation is further complicated by the fact that a power-sharing agreement between unionist and republican parties, following an election in Northern Ireland in March, has proven elusive.

British Prime Minister Theresa May is edging closer to clinching a deal to stay in power with the support of Northern Irish kingmakers but faces a battle over Brexit just days before divorce talks are due to begin. "But we have to be honest, it will take much more than that for us to be convinced that the DUP tail is not wagging the Tory dog", he told reporters.

Asked what she meant by a "sensible" Brexit, Mrs Foster said her party is talking to Northern Ireland's ports to see how they think trade should be handled.

That statement comes despite the Queen's Speech being scheduled for Wednesday.

The delegation of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) included DUP leader Arlene Foster and Simon Hamilton, a key DUP figure, who served as the economy minister in the Northern Ireland Executive from 2016 until its collapse in January 2017, while Sinn Fein were represented by Michelle O'Neill, Michelle Gildernew, Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald. "You folks here make enough mess of your own elections, make enough mess of your own governments, make enough mess of your own affairs". Even if the DUP abstains from the vote, May should be able to get the Queen's Speech passed.

BLOCK: Let's talk first about the path of the hard Brexit.

Nigel Dodds and Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, on the other hand, know everything there is to know about political negotiation.

Prompted by her poor election showing, particularly among pro-EU young people who fear losses of jobs and opportunity from Brexit, some of her most senior ministers and two former Conservative prime ministers have called for a rethink.

Though on the surface, Thursday's meeting with Northern Irish parties is aimed at breaking the logjam in forming a new cross-party regional government in the province, May needs broader acceptance of a Conservative-DUP deal.

Talks restarted on Monday in Belfast, under Britain's Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire.

"Look at what the Tories (Conservatives) have managed to do to the United Kingdom in the space of just one year, firstly calling a divisive and reckless European Union referendum. then having lost that gamble pursuing a hard Brexit path", Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said.

  • Zachary Reyes