UK's May confident on power-saving deal


Even before May had called and lost last week's election, Juncker had told her that she had a very tiny and uncertain majority of seven deputies in the Parliament to reckon with the the Herculian task she had to accomplish - to leave the EU and agree the future relations with the Union. May is already on record as insisting her party "will never be neutral in expressing support" for Northern Ireland to remain part of the United Kingdom, an unwise declaration given the peace process idea of the British government as an "honest broker".

Phillip Hammond on the Andrew Marr Show this morning.

DUP sources also stressed the importance of everyone in Northern Ireland "owning" whatever concessions the party specifically wins for the region in its discussions with the Conservatives.

"I look forward to a prompt response given the considerable public interest in this matter and its consequences for our public finances".

Former prime minister David Cameron, who called last year's European Union referendum and resigned after losing it, told a conference in Poland that "there will be pressure for a softer Brexit".

Under the proposed deal, the DUP would likely support May's Conservatives on big issues such as the budget, Brexit and defence legislation on a vote-by-vote-basis.

Since then there had been Assembly elections in March, followed by a series of negotiations, and then the British general election on June 8, which was again followed by talks on the DUP supporting the Conservative minority government in London.

The nationalist Sinn Fein and SDLP and the cross-community Alliance have all made clear Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire can not chair the ongoing process to restore power-sharing at Stormont due to the perceived conflict of interest.

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Sinn Féin will oppose any deal between the Government and the DUP which undermines the peace deal, Mr Adams warned.

A conclusion on the deal was expected on Wednesday, but the decision may now be delayed to next week, after the DUP said it would be inappropriate to conclude talks and announce a deal on the same day as a fire consumed a tower block in west London, killing 12 people. As for the British government negotiators, they are standing on hollow grounds, holding the most insecure job there is in the entire European political universe.

On Friday, Ms Foster signalled her optimism that a deal to restore powersharing by a June 29 deadline could be done, adding that it "takes two to tango and we're ready to dance".

Several Conservative and other leaders have cautioned against the coalition since it would compromise London's neutral position between the contending groups in Northern Ireland - the Republicans and Unionists - and adversely hit the Good Friday Agreement.

He may also be warning against going down a road with the DUP that may somehow entrap Theresa May's already enfeebled administration.

The Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to the cycle of violence in the north of Ireland that many people thought was intractable, is one of the very few unalloyed triumphs of what Churchill called "jaw-jaw over war-war".

"We know each other and we understand each other", she said.