UK's May faces calls to soften Brexit as political limbo drags on
Jun 19 2017
Michelle O'Neill, the Sinn Fein leader in Northern Ireland, said that the government must continue its role as co-guarantor of the Good Friday agreement.
The DUP has come to the fore since the General Election after the Prime Minister had sought to strengthen her hand for Brexit negotiations by calling a snap election in April, but ended up losing her party's majority in a shock result.
On a visit to Paris on Tuesday evening where she met with French President Emmanuel Macron, May described the talks as "productive".
Parliament now "deserves a say", he said, adding that there was "perhaps an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it".
Many in Northern Ireland, especially the Loyalist community, see this DUP-Conservative arrangement as a good thing if the deal is signed today, as it may highlight the areas of Northern Ireland that need investment.
Almost a fifth of the UK's food and drink exports go to the Republic of Ireland and in March industry bodies from across the British food and drink sector wrote an open letter to various government departments calling for "frictionless" tariff-free trade with Ireland to continue post-Brexit.
"We are continuing to have talks but today, as you will imagine, there has been a real focus on this awful tragedy in London", May said.
May's government has said its Brexit plans remain the same, and her Brexit minister David Davis will be pressing for close economic ties but a clear break with the bloc to be able to control immigration and restore sovereignty over British laws.
According to The Scottish FarmerDUP MPs have promised that the party will fight for a secure future for farmers and fishermen in Northern Ireland and across the UK. That's why we're ready to start very quickly. "I can't negotiate with myself", he told The Financial Times.
Earlier in the week ministers had already said the Queen's Speech was likely to be set back from its scheduled date of Monday June 19, because of ongoing negotiations.
Britain has pledged to devolve corporation tax setting powers to Northern Ireland once Belfast demonstrates its finances are on a sustainable footing. "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", former Conservative prime minister John Major told BBC radio.
However, she said her party would go back and look at an expert report on the issue of fatal foetal abnormality which is understood to recommend legal changes.