Sinn Féin protests to Theresa May over Tory-DUP link

Pauline Gross
June 17, 2017

"Sources say delay over government deal with DUP not because talks are "stuttering" - 95 percent agreed between both sides".

The Lib Dem leader, Tim Farron, who resigned earlier this week but will lead the party's response until a new leader is chosen, said their amendments would include "a clear statement about an open border for Ireland", which could gain DUP backing.

The Tories need the support of the DUP's 10 MPs in steering government business, including crucial measures on Brexit, through the Commons after failing to win a majority at the general election.

For Brussels, a concern with starting talks on such models would be that Brexit supporters might end up blocking them, raising the risk of time running out to get any deal: "Would you".

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who was asked to resign in the wake of a heating incentive scandal that cost the government hundreds of thousands of pounds, said on Twitter that discussions are "going well" and that there will be an agreement of sorts.

A senior Conservative source said: "We are making a lot of progress".

The former Prime Minister warned of a return to violence, pointing to the danger posed by "hard men still there, lurking in the corners of communities". Backbenchers said they wanted to remind the prime minister of how she had been "drained of all power" following the party's dismal election campaign and the loss of her majority.

"The EU can only negotiate once the United Kingdom has come to a consensus on how to proceed - which will only happen once British politicians openly debate Brexit's dilemmas", said Simon Tilford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform.

"Going overseas and being seen to be the prime minister and talking to the president of France, being seen to be wheeler-dealing on the worldwide stage, is a classic move to shore up authority at home", he said.

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One analysis of the vote's outcome points to a "softer" Brexit, one that leaves Britain with some degree of privileged trade access to the EU's massive, tariff-less single market.

The Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East argues that "no deal" - a scenario where Britain leaves the European Union without any formal agreement with the other member states - could cripple the Northern Irish economy.

The EU could demand that Britain pay a large upfront exit bill.

"But, let us be clear and organized and once the negotiations have started we should be well aware that it'll be more hard to move backwards", he noted.

But pressure was mounting for May to change course on the type of Brexit Britain should pursue.

Discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion.

Though the UK's trade agreement with the European Union is the talk of the town, we mustn't lose sight of the fact that Ministers are also touring the world searching for trade.

As the sole Green MP representing hundreds of thousands of voters across the country I'll be standing with colleagues from all parties to oppose extreme Tory Brexit plans - and working to build a consensus on a way forward for Britain that best protects our economy and stops the slide towards inequity that's been the hallmark of Theresa May's premiership.

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