Prime Minister To Hold Talks With NI's Five Main Parties

Elias Hubbard
June 19, 2017

Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire insisted the government would honour its commitments in the Good Friday Agreement and warned that time was running out if power sharing was to be restored and a return to direct rule from Westminster avoided.

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

European Union leaders have voiced growing impatience to start Brexit negotiations, which have already been delayed by the parliamentary election - and on which the clock is ticking.

She also said that the talks with May's party had covered corporation tax and same sex marriage.

Negotiations broke up on Tuesday night without an agreement, but Mrs May said the discussions had been "productive".

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.

May is holding talks Thursday with other Northern Ireland political parties amid warnings the expected DUP deal will undermine the peace process.

But a newly appointed junior Brexit minister, Steve Baker, told Reuters: "I don't foresee any change".

"We remain fully committed to making the institutions work", she said. Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, Major and Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU.

The performance of the British economy could also influence perceptions: Data on Wednesday showed average weekly pay in the three months to April was down 0.4 percent, year-on-year, in inflation-adjusted terms - the biggest fall since the three months to September 2014.

"Progress will not come from a deal between the DUP and Tories to prop up a government in Westminster with an austerity and Brexit agenda but through the full implementation of the agreements and an Executive that respects the rights and delivers for all in society".

May lost her parliamentary majority in last week's election and is now desperately seeking the support of the 10 MPs from Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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