UK PM Thersa May and DUP have largely agreed support deal

British Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday was heading into hard talks with a hardline Northern Irish party on securing a working majority after a crushing electoral setback. British Prime Minister Theresa May sits with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as she holds the first Cabinet meeting of her new team inside 10 Downing Street, in London, Monday June 12, 2017.

Major said he feared the pact could undermine the fragile Northern Ireland peace process, which he was instrumental in brokering in its early days.

Any extra money for Northern Ireland under a Conservative-DUP deal at Westminster should also lead to more cash for Wales, say Welsh ministers.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster has tweeted that discussions with British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party are "going well" and that she hopes for a conclusion soon.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn countered with a bit of previously unseen swagger, wearing a huge red rose — his party's symbol — in his lapel as he sparred with May and taunted her about the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming vote on her legislative program, known as the Queen's Speech.

Mrs May is coming under intense pressure to change her approach to leaving the European Union, with predecessor David Cameron among those suggesting a softer stance with a greater effort to seek a consensus.

"We as Government remain absolutely steadfast in our commitment to the Belfast Agreement and the subsequent agreements, " she told reporters during an official visit to France on Tuesday evening.

Both sides expect a deal to be agreed on Wednesday, which would guarantee the DUP's support for Ms May's minority government on important votes.

"She said "I'm the person who got us into this mess and I'm the one who is going to get us out of it", said one Conservative lawmaker who attended the meeting.

Negotiations had been expected to begin next week but May's loss of her parliamentary majority in a general election last week raised doubts about the date.

Although elections for the assembly took place in a March, it can only meet if the two leading parties, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and the pro-republican Sinn Fein, agree to work together by appointing a first minister and deputy first minister. The Conservatives are considering an arrangement in which the Northern Ireland party backs May on the budget and her confidence motions.

It also means the United Kingdom and European Union would begin Brexit talks on Monday without clarity on how the Government's objectives may be changed by any deal with the DUP.

  • Leroy Wright