UK's May faces calls to soften Brexit as political limbo drags on

James Brokenshire not acceptable chairman for Stormont talks says Gerry Adams

James Brokenshire not acceptable chairman for Stormont talks says Gerry Adams

A chastened Prime Minister Theresa May made progress Tuesday in securing a deal with a small Northern Ireland party with whom she hopes to govern, just days after a catastrophic election wiped out her majority in Parliament.

British Prime Minister Theresa May held talks lasting two hours at Downing Street Tuesday to discuss an agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to prop up her minority Conservative government.

A conclusion on the deal was expected on Wednesday, but the decision may now be delayed to next week, after the DUP said it would be inappropriate to conclude talks and announce a deal on the same day as a fire consumed a tower block in west London, killing 12 people. Brexit negotiations that were scheduled to begin next week was also likely to be postponed.

Although the DUP are unionists - wanting to remain part of the United Kingdom - and broadly support numerous policies of the Conservative and Unionist Party (as the Conservatives are correctly called), May's proposed deal could scupper attempt to broker a power-sharing deal with Sinn Fein - which promotes the unification of Ireland - on the Northern Ireland Executive.

In Paris, Mrs May said last week's General Election had revealed "a unity of purpose" among British voters for the Government to get on with Brexit and she confirmed the withdrawal talks would start next week as planned.

When the Prime Minister sat down for dinner with Emmanuel Macron in Paris Tuesday evening, the new French President - who has set out his stall as an European Union reformer - likely reminded her that the clock is ticking.

"It's a unity of objective, having voted to leave the European Union, that their Government gets on with that and makes a success of it, and we are committed to developing a deep and special partnership with the EU".

Britain will be the first member state ever to leave the bloc.

The report cited unnamed sources, and the Finance Ministry declined to comment.

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She said: "There's been a lot of hyperbole talked about our position to the gay community".

Meanwhile, the chief European Union negotiator has told the Financial Times that Britain that the clock was ticking on Brexit talks, and that Britain should be wary of further delays. Once done, however, Brexit would be hard to reverse.

May desperately needs the DUP's 10 seats to pass legislation. Some involved in the Irish peace process are alarmed because the 1998 Good Friday peace accords call for the British government to be neutral in the politics of Northern Ireland.

While the DUP are deeply euroskeptic, they have balked at some of the practical implications of a so-call hard Brexit-including a potential loss of a "frictionless border" with the Republic of Ireland-and talks will touch on efforts to minimize the potential damage to Northern Ireland.

May has promised to start the formal Brexit talks next week but her authority has collapsed since the election result and opponents took her woes as a chance to push back against her Brexit strategy.

May faced her lawmakers at a meeting of the 1922 Committee on Monday.

Former Prime Minister David Cameron said May needed to listen to rival political parties, and that there would be pressure for a softer Brexit.

Resolutely anti-Brexit, The Liberal Democrats campaigned for a second referendum on the terms of Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

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