Published: Thu, June 15, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

DUP hopeful of deal with Conservatives sooner rather than later, says Foster


"What we are doing in relation to the productive talks that we are holding with the Democratic Unionist Party is ensuring that it is possible to, with their support, give the stability to the UK Government that I think is necessary at this time".

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves after a meeting with the Leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Arlene Foster at 10 Downing Street after the general election in London, Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

The meeting is taking place to see if an alliance can be created to push through the Conservative Party's agenda after a disastrous snap election left her short of a majority in Parliament.

Major urged May to reconsider leading a minority government instead, saying it is "an option well worth considering".

It was thought the Brexit-supporting Mrs Foster was seeking assurances from Mrs May that she will pursue a softer exit from the European Union as part of her demands.

May will then travel to Paris for a working dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron before the two leaders attend a friendly football match between England and France at the national stadium in Paris.

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Ministers have already said that the Queen's Speech may have to be set back from its scheduled date of next Monday, June 19, because of the ongoing negotiations.

He added: "Scotland has elected Labour MPs in good numbers and has voted Labour in good numbers and I am very enthusiastic and very optimistic about the future".

That had been scheduled to lead to a state opening of the new session of parliament next month when Queen Elizabeth II outlines the proposals May's government intend to put forward.

But now a number of senior Conservative figures say a Brexit deal, which leaves the United Kingdom inside the Single Market or the Customs Union is preferable.

The DUP head told ITV News she had "some very good discussions" with Mrs May and was hopeful of reaching a conclusion "sooner rather than later".

The same newspaper published a column Tuesday by former Tory leader William Hague in which he called not for a collation government, but for a coalition approach to the Brexit negotiations.

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May backed the "remain" side ahead of last year's historic referendum over Britain's membership to the EU.

With British politics thrust into the deepest turmoil since last June's shock Brexit vote, European Union leaders were left wondering how the divorce talks would open next week.

Whatever deal may be concocted between May and the DUP, there will be no strength or stability in such a government-which is why the right wing of the Labour Party is running up a flag for cross-party cooperation. They also oppose any "hard border" being re-established between the north-which remains part of the UK-and the Republic of Ireland, which is an European Union member-as a result of the European Union talks.

He said the peace process is "fragile" and could fall apart if the British government is no longer "impartial".

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

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