Former Tory PM John Major intervenes over 'fragile' DUP deal

15 Juin, 2017, 04:30 | Author: Claudine Rigal

After House Speaker John Bercow was re-elected without challenge, a chastened May quipped: "At least someone got a landslide".

"Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the government should put economic growth at the heart of its Brexit strategy, comments placing her in the camp of those advocating a closer trade relationship with the European Union, or "soft" Brexit".

"If that's not possible, the Labour Party stands ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn congratulated May on "returning as PM" and said he "looked forward to this Parliament, however short it may be".

"I congratulate her on returning and I'm sure she'll agree with me that democracy is a wondrous thing, and can throw up some very unexpected results", he said.

Five days after a general election that wiped out her majority, May is in discussions in London with Democratic Unionist Party Leader Arlene Foster to secure the backing of the party's 10 lawmakers in the House of Commons for the Tories' program for government.

When Britain voted last week in an election that ended with Prime Minister Theresa May hanging onto her job by a thread, Brexit wasn't on the ballot.

Brexit talks are due to begin officially on Monday, but they could be delayed because of the post-election chaos. 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.

"The parliamentary arithmetic is such that we are going to have to work with everyone", he said.

The DUP leader is nearly certain to ask for greater investment in Northern Ireland as the price of a deal.

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Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said the government should put economic growth at the heart of its Brexit strategy, comments placing her in the camp of those advocating a closer trade relationship with the EU, or "soft" Brexit.May appointed Steve Baker, a prominent Brexit campaigner, to the Department for Exiting the EU."We need a good, clean exit which minimises disruption and maximises opportunity", Baker said just hours before his appointment.The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions of Brexit.

"A fundamental part of that peace process is that the United Kingdom government needs to be impartial between all the competing interests in Northern Ireland", he told the BBC.

The DUP and Sinn Fein have also been at loggerheads recently over the collapse of a power-sharing agreement in Northern Ireland that has meant the province has had no government since January.

"And the danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties", he said.

The stakes for May are high.

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

Mrs May is now in talks with DUP boss Arlene Foster in a bid to form a minority government as quickly as possible.

With the two-year clock on Brexit ticking away since March, when a letter from May formally started proceedings, Barnier dismissed the suggestion of postponing the negotiations and said such a delay would only prompt further instability. Michel Barnier warned that no progress had been made in the three months since May triggered Article 50, starting the process of leaving the union.

"My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex", he added.


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