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Talks to strike deal with DUP 'ongoing', says Downing Street

Talks to strike deal with DUP 'ongoing', says Downing Street

Talks to restore Northern Ireland's power-sharing institutions continue later, with just nine days left for a deal before the government's deadline.

Northern Ireland has been without a powersharing executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January, after Sinn Fein collapsed the administration amid faltering trust and relations with the DUP.

The failure of the Irish Government to fulfil its obligations as a co-guarantor for the Good Friday Agreement is a national scandal, the South Antrim MLA said.

In an effort to strengthen her mandate in negotiating the exit process, Prime Minister Theresa May called early elections, only to result in the ruling Conservative Party losing its majority.

Mr Coveney said the start of Brexit negotiations in Brussels underlined the urgent need to get devolution back up and running in Belfast.

The Sunday Times said ministers within May's cabinet had "let it be known" they would oust the prime minister if they thought she could not pass the government's legislative programme in a vote expected on June 28.

The UK Government has warned that direct rule from London could be reimposed if the local parties fail to reach an agreement before the June 29 deadline.




"From all the parties there was a sense of can do, of positivity today, while at the same time having firm and clear positions, as you would expect", he said.

Ms Foster dismissed suggestions her deal with the Tories threatened the peace process.

For 40 years the British government has stayed out of sectarian politics. We are talking about a confidence and supply agreement with them.

Ms May said she was steadfastly committed to the Good Friday Agreement and wanted to see a "close and special partnership" with the Republic of Ireland post-Brexit.

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.

"And there's work to be done to find middle ground in some of those areas and to accommodate the concerns of people while understanding the political obstacles that other parties may have in terms of some of the issues that are still under discussion".

"Not only do a huge majority of people in Northern Ireland want to see abortion made available to women and girls in the tragic circumstances of sexual crime or fatal foetal diagnosis, but they also want to see abortion decriminalised and dealt with through healthcare policy".


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