UK's May holds alliance talks with NIreland party chief

EU, UK Citizens' Status First on Brexit Talks Agenda: Brexit Secretary

UK's May holds alliance talks with NIreland party chief

Talks between UK Prime Minister Theresa May's minority Conservative government and Northern Ireland's DUP broke up for the night on Tuesday, and will resume the following day, a spokesman for May's office said.

"That's why we're ready to start very quickly".

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn countered with a bit of previously unseen swagger, wearing a huge red rose - his party's symbol - in his lapel as he sparred with May and taunted her about the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming vote on her legislative program, known as the Queen's Speech.

"Like Alice in Wonderland, not all the doors are the same".

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

"We would restore faith in politics if we could show that this parliament can at least function in presenting a view in the national interest which would command a majority on a cross-party basis", said veteran pro-European Conservative lawmaker Ken Clarke. The Evening Standard, edited by ex-Treasury chief George Osborne, is reporting that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour lawmakers.

"The parliamentary arithmetic is such that we are going to have to work with everyone", he said.

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

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The 1998 Good Friday Agreement - also referred to as the Belfast Agreement - commits the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to demonstrate "rigorous impartiality" in their dealings with the different political traditions in Northern Ireland.

While the DUP are deeply eurosceptic, they have balked at some of the practical implications of a so-called hard Brexit - including the potential loss of an open border with the Republic of Ireland - and the talks were likely to touch on efforts to minimise the potential damage to Northern Ireland.

Foster's rivals in Northern Ireland, such as Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, have objected.

She added: "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".

There has been "slower progress" in talks between the Conservatives and DUP, with an agreement unlikely to be announced on Wednesday.

"Going overseas and being seen to be the prime minister and talking to the president of France, being seen to be wheeler-dealing on the worldwide stage, is a classic move to shore up authority at home", he told AFP.

"My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex... I can't negotiate with myself", he told European newspapers including the Financial Times.

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