Talks on propping up UK PM May's Conservatives are 'very positive'

Though Foster supported Brexit, she also might demand that May pursue a cushioned exit from the European Union, given her party's wish that a soft border remain between Northern Ireland and Ireland, an European Union member.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who has travelled to Westminster for talks with the Tories, said she hoped a deal could be reached 'sooner rather than later'.

But then May called a needless election to get a bigger majority in parliament-to "strengthen her hand" in the negotiations with the European Union that are scheduled to begin next Monday, or so she said.

At a joint press conference with Mrs May in Paris on Tuesday night, France's President Emmanuel Macron suggested the door was still open for the United Kingdom to remain within the European Union.

The unprecedented negotiations at the Commission's offices come nearly exactly a year after Britons voted last June 23 to leave the EU.

But with so much at stake for Britain and its $2.5 trillion economy, pressure was mounting on May from within and without her party to heed other voices. "Talks are going well".

Meanwhile, Downing Street has announced that representatives from all five of Northern Ireland's main parties have been invited to meet the prime minister on Thursday.

"It's going to be hard, there's no doubt about that, but perhaps an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it", he said at a conference in Poland, the Financial Times reported.

PF approached the Conservative Party, the Cabinet Office and 10 Downing Street for comment but none were able to confirm the delay.

Sinn Fein's Northern Irish Assembly leader Michelle O'Neill will be among the guests, and issued a statement flagging her concerns with May over a "confidence and supply" deal with the Democratic Unionist Party.

They have struggled for years with Irish Catholic nationalists, who want the British province to join a united Ireland. And Ulster Unionist Party leader Robin Swann said the Prime Minister had assured him that the "entire deal will be made public".

Sinn Fein has also claimed that a Tory-DUP alliance could damage powersharing talks in Northern Ireland, which has been without an executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January. Brexit minister David Davis insisted the government still aimed to take Britain out of the European Union single market. May has not yet responded to a proposal from some Conservatives for business groups and lawmakers from all parties to agree a national position on Brexit.

"I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out", May told Conservatives MPs during a crunch meeting in Westminster. Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, Major and Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU.

While British Prime Minister Theresa May insists she will follow the results of last year's Brexit referendum, her disastrous showing in elections last week has raised fresh questions about how - and if - Britain will leave the bloc.

  • Leroy Wright