NI parties asked to respond on key talks issues

The Good Friday Agreement requires the British government to be impartial in using its powers in Northern Ireland.

Endless Facebook posts have highlighted the DUP's extremely close links with terrorist organisations in Northern Ireland - a position that the Tory government seem totally unfazed by.

"80 per cent of British people voted for parties that have accepted we have to leave the European Union".

Arlene Foster's party will now prop up Theresa May's Conservatives in the United Kingdom after her decision to call a snap election backfired and she lost ground to Labour.

Even with their "confidence and supply" deal the government's working majority hangs on a knife edge, and May will no longer be able to make decisions without the support of her backbenchers.

"The point is she is not a unifying figure any more".

It's nearly as if, by claiming to be strong and stable as frequently and repetitively she did, she's cursed herself to be the opposite.

Monday will also see the first round-table meeting involving the governments and local parties of the three-week initiative to form a powersharing executive.

Leaving the European Union was once far-fetched: only 15 years ago, British leaders were arguing about when to join the euro, and talk of an EU exit was the reserve of a motley crew of sceptics on the fringes of both major parties.

For its part, the Dublin government - a member of the EU - is anxious by the adverse political and economic effects of May government's courting of the DUP and her negotiations to leave the union.

Minister Coveney also addd that at this stage of negotiations, sufficient progress must be made on Ireland's issues, along with the issues of citizens' rights and Britain's financial liabilities so discussions can begin on the future relationship between the European Union and Britain.

And, in fact, strangely, one of the paradoxes of Brexit that is that we export our elderly and we import the young and productive workers from other parts of Europe. The Labour party has now seen new life after this election as it was on a steady decline before this election.

"You don't need border posts, you don't need to stop people; of course you would back that up with the occasional physical checks if you felt that that was needed", says the DUP Brexit spokesman, Sammy Wilson.

Opponents describe that as a "hard Brexit".

"My clear view, and I believe the view of the majority of people in Britain, is that we should prioritize protecting jobs, protecting economic growth, protecting prosperity as we enter those negotiations", finance minister Philip Hammond said.

However, heading into the talks Monday morning, the two men struck a conciliatory tone, promising to build a strong new "partnership" as "close allies" and "friends".

Since May took over her party and the government last July, her leadership has been characterised by a bullish refusal to be transparent about her party's plans for Brexit. "It takes two to tango and we're ready to dance".

  • Leroy Wright