No deal yet between UK Conservatives and DUP to back PM May


The Prime Minister will meet separately with representatives of Sinn Fein, the Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and the Alliance Party - as well as the DUP - in Downing Street in an attempt to allay growing concerns.

The announcement by Andrea Leadsom suggests that Prime Minister Theresa May and the Northern Ireland-based Democratic Unionist Party have struck an agreement or are close to one. She will seek to placate them.

The European Parliament's Brexit coordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, struck a harsher tone: Britain, he said, could change its mind, but it would be poorer.

"There is very little time left".

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's main opposition, said his Labour Party would not support May's Queen's speech in the lower house of parliament to try to force her out of power through a vote of no-confidence.

They have struggled for years with Irish nationalists, who want the British province to join a united Ireland.

Sinn Fein, which won seven seats in the British parliament at last week's election but will maintain its policy of not taking them, said its leader in Northern Ireland, Michelle, O'Neill would repeat those concerns in London on Thursday.

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Even some Republicans have grudgingly admitted if this investment is forthcoming from the central government in London it could be a good thing for Northern Ireland.

It is not yet clear whether the European Union withdrawal talks will go ahead on that day, although the Brexit secretary, David Davis, has said they will start next week.

She will have to manage conflicting demands from within her own party, including a proposal for business groups and lawmakers from all parties to agree a national position for Britain's most complex negotiations since World War Two.

Asked about the political rollercoaster which has seen her removed from office as first minister then become the Kingmaker at Westminster, Mrs Foster said she had been kept going by the support of ordinary people.

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. Government bond prices suffered heavy losses on Tuesday after consumer price inflation jumped to 2.9 percent in May.

The original date for the Queen's speech was also supposed to be the day Brexit negotiations were due to begin in Brussels.

The veteran conservative predicted that Britain would regret its departure from the bloc at some point in the future.