lakeelmoleader.com
lakeelmoleader.com December 13, 2017


UK Government 'absolutely steadfast' in commitment to peace process - Theresa May

16 June 2017, 06:33 | Kara Nash

Enda Kenny

Enda Kenny

The former Conservative prime minister, Sir John Major has cited his concerns over the Northern Ireland peace process urging Theresa May to walk away from doing any deal with the DUP.

Though on the surface, Thursday's meeting with Northern Irish parties is aimed at breaking the logjam in forming a new cross-party regional government in the province, May needs broader acceptance of a Conservative-DUP deal.

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said: "I will be making it very clear that any deal between the Tories and the DUP can not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday and subsequent agreements".

DUP leader Arlene Foster said there had been "very good discussions" so far and she would travel to London to meet May tomorrow.

The late Martin McGuinness resigned from the Sinn Féin-DUP coalition, triggering the collapse of the regional government under the rules of power-sharing.

It is thought Mrs Foster, despite being a Brexit supporter, could seek assurances from Mrs May that she will pursue a softer exit from the European Union, given Northern Ireland's 56% Remain vote and the DUP's desire not to see a return to a hard border with Ireland.

The party visited London to hold meetings with ministers and to set up their parliamentary office but the party maintained its traditional refusal to take its seats out of opposition to Westminster's jurisdiction in Northern Ireland and the oath all MPs must make to the Queen.

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May's office said Northern Ireland's five main parties would take part, but a spokesman for the DUP did not immediately respond to a request to confirm their participation.

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.

He said the current process - which involves the United Kingdom and Irish governments chairing elements of the negotiations and the head of the Northern Ireland Civil Service moderating other discussions - is the "right approach".

Trimble said on Monday he was confident Tory MPs would back an arrangement under which the DUP's 10 MPs would prop up a Tory minority government, despite reports of unease among more centrist Conservatives. An agreement to restore devolved power-sharing government in Stormont must be reached by the 29 June deadline.

An agreement between the Tories and DUP is thought to be close, with Mrs May saying the talks had been "productive" and emphasising the need for "stability" in government. "So of course we would support any monies going to the executive", Adams said.

A Downing Street source said the talks had been "constructive" but refused to put a timescale on when they would conclude.



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