Published: Fri, June 16, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Britain, EU in suspense


Sinn Fein, SDLP and the cross-community Alliance have all also already made clear that Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire can not chair the ongoing process to restore power-sharing at Stormont due to a perceived conflict of interest caused by the deal.

Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams said the party had told Mrs May "very directly" she was "in breach of the Good Friday agreement".

However, the announcement of the deal was postponed on Wednesday because of the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.

May's office issued a statement saying she was "deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life" but made no mention of the talks with the DUP.

Northern Ireland would then remain in the single market. There is very little time left.

Mrs Foster has also rejected suggestions that the mooted agreement could undermine a return to powersharing arrangements at Stormont amid claims from political rivals that the Government's stated impartiality as a mediator would be fatally undermined.

"Ultimately, I think the parties understand people voted in the March Assembly elections for a strong voice at Stormont".

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At the Elysee news conference, Mrs May also defended her attempts to do a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party to keep the Tories in power.

Despite her party's expectations of a landslide victory Ms May lost her majority in parliament, pushing her into rushed talks on a support agreement with a small Eurosceptic Northern Irish Protestant party with 10 parliamentary seats.

The proposed deal would see the DUP back the Conservatives in votes on the Budget and confidence motions.

When French President Emmanuel Macron met Mrs May in Paris on Tuesday, he said the door was open for Britain to remain a member of the European Union until talks ended.

May is under pressure to take on a more cross-party approach to the negotiations surrounding Brexit.

The State Opening was initially scheduled for June 19 - the same date when Brexit negotiations were due to begin in Brussels.

"It's going to be hard".

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The outgoing speaker, John Bercow, was re-elected unopposed by the MPs, prompting May to raise laughter when she said: "At least someone got a landslide". It could even lay the groundwork for reversing Brexit altogether.

The Times reported that Chancellor Philip Hammond was preparing to fight for the United Kingdom to remain within the EU's customs union. 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.

An EU official close to the matter said the "softer Brexit" talk could be "productive" and help progress in the first months, where the British attitude to discussing the financial settlement "will be the first serious test of the negotiations".

The appointment of Baker may have more to do with consolidating her position than signalling a Brexit course.

"I think there is a unity of goal among people in the United Kingdom".

Conservative Party sources say May wants to show her government is up and running but her loss of authority in last week's election will make it harder to handle a hectic agenda - Brexit talks with the European Union, tackling a slowing economy, a political crisis in Ireland, and a devastating fire in London.

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