DUP head: Talks with UK Conservatives going well

DUP head: Talks with UK Conservatives going well

DUP head: Talks with UK Conservatives going well

"Talks are going well".

Senior British minister and prominent Brexit campaigner Michael Gove said on Tuesday that Britain will leave the EU customs union, which guarantees tariff- free trade within the bloc but prohibits members from striking third-party trade deals. During the election campaign, May had used the "coalition of chaos" phrase to describe what a victory for Labour would look like.

Coming off a bruising few days in which her future has hung in the balance, May will hope to secure a deal to prop up her minority government when she meets Arlene Foster, head of Northern Ireland's ultra-conservative Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), on Tuesday morning.

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, which saw its number of parliamentary seats and share of the vote increase, said there could be another election this year or early in 2018 after last Thursday's vote produced no clear victor.

"I got us into this mess, and I'm going to get us out", May told Conservatives MPs, seeking to ward off any challenge to her leadership.

May faces a hard balancing act: Divisions over Europe helped sink the premierships of Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron, and many of her lawmakers and party membership support a sharp break with the EU. The Evening Standard, edited by ex-Treasury chief George Osborne, is reporting that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour lawmakers.

As Gerry Adams, the Sinn Fein leader, noted on Monday, the outgoing Irish prime minister, or taoiseach, Enda Kenny, called the British prime minister over the weekend to express his concern that her new alliance could disrupt their efforts to get the legislature in Belfast back on track.

"We are going into these talks with the national interest at heart", she said on Monday.

"If we are able to do a deal that brings more economic prosperity to Northern Ireland surely that's a good thing for all of our people in Northern Ireland", the DUP leader commented.

It is thought Mrs Foster, despite being a Brexit supporter, could seek assurances from Mrs May that she will pursue a softer exit from the European Union, given Northern Ireland's 56% Remain vote and the DUP's desire not to see a return to a hard border with Ireland.

There have even been suggestions that such an alliance in the British Parliament could be a violation of the terms of the 1998 Belfast Agreement, which stipulates that the United Kingdom must remain impartial in Northern Ireland.

Major warned that although Northern Ireland was a long way from returning to the violence that killed 3,600 people, he believed the peace process remained fragile almost two decades after a US -brokered 1998 peace agreement.

"I will be making it very clear that any deal between the Tories and the DUP can not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday and subsequent agreements", O'Neill said.

The stakes for May are high.

"This was a remarkable result achieved because we stayed united and worked as a team and I have no doubt together we can win the next general election, whenever that may be". If that happens, Corbyn will demand a chance to try to form a government by uniting progressive factors in the House of Commons. Michel Barnier warned that no progress had been made in the three months since May triggered Article 50 to start the process of leaving the union.

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