Northern Ireland's DUP says talks with Conservatives to continue in London

Jun 17, 2017, 01:12

News of the protest came after Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said a "grubby deal" between Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party would not be in the national interest.

He told BBC Radio 4's World at One programme: "The last thing anybody wishes to see is one or other of the communities so aggrieved that the hardmen, who are still there lurking in the corners of the communities, decide that they wish to return to some form of violence".

But Major, who was leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister between 1990 and 1997, said he was "wary" and "dubious" of any deal with the DUP at a time where talks are about to resume on the state of the devolved government in the province.

Some of the other NI parties have said salvaging devolution at Stormont will become more hard if such a deal comes into effect.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement commits the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to demonstrate "rigorous impartiality" in their dealings with the different political traditions in Northern Ireland.

Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds is leading the DUP delegation to London as party leader Arlene Foster has returned to Northern Ireland, the spokesman said.

"I think one of the most shameful aspects of the whole Brexit process from the beginning to now has been the disregard shown by many for that peace process". It isn't certain, it is under stress.

The listing of four policy areas where the parties are in agreement suggests a final deal may go further than a basic confidence and supply arrangement, which would see the DUP guarantee its support only on financial measures and no-confidence votes.

"We never put timescales on when we expect a deal to be done and I'm not going to start now".

Before travelling to the French capital, Mrs May had been leading the talks with the DUP.

But May appears to be motivated by her desire to guarantee a majority in Parliament for a Queen's Speech - a key event in the parliamentary calendar in which the government lays out its policy agenda for the coming year.

She warned that a outcome of failing to re-establish a powersharing executive would be the return of direct rule, with decisions on devolved issues being taken by the London government.

The DUP is believed to be more favourable to a "soft Brexit" that would keep Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland free-flowing.

"They are issues which belong to the Irish government and the British government and are part of agreements already made". We are meeting with the two governments and all the parties this afternoon.

The DUP leader said: "There's been a lot of commentary around the issues that we are talking about and it won't surprise anyone that we are talking about matters that pertain, of course, to the nation generally".

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