'Significant progress' in Theresa May's talks with the DUP

I m here as long as you want me May says

UK Prime Minister Theresa May will meet the leader of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) here on Tuesday seeking support to form a Conservative minority government, the media reported.

The party, led by Arlene Foster, has blocked same-sex marriage in Northern Ireland and counts openly homophobic ministers among its ranks. British Prime Minister Theresa May sits with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson as she holds the first Cabinet meeting of her new team inside 10 Downing Street, in London, Monday June 12, 2017.

Her social care plans, including the highly criticized "dementia tax", are also bound to be excluded from the Queen's Speech, which was due to take place next Monday but has now been delayed ahead of a deal. "And the danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties".

"What we're doing in relation to the talks that we're holding, the productive talks we're holding with the Democratic Unionist Party, is ensuring that it is possible to, with their support, give the stability to the United Kingdom government that I think is necessary at this time", May told a news conference in Paris following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Moreover, a soft Brexit stance is also likely to please the DUP, which still wants a comprehensive free trade and customs agreement with the European Union, despite its pro-Brexit stance, as well as the guarantee of a "frictionless border" with the Republic of Ireland.

Negotiations over a potential alliance between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party are "going well", the Northern Irish party's leader has said.


Foster will nearly certainly ask for greater investment in Northern Ireland as part of the deal, as well as guarantees on support for pension plans and for winter fuel allowances for older people.

There are suggestions the DUP could demand additional funding for Northern Ireland projects for its support.

Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams turned Mrs May's own slogan against her to brand it "a coalition of chaos", adding: "Any deal which undercuts in any way the process here or the Good Friday Agreement is one which has to be opposed".

Meanwhile, Fergal McFerran, the president of the National Union of Students' Irish branch said: "After the general election, there's been more attention given to equal rights here in Northern Ireland, mainly because of the record that the Northern Ireland Assembly has in terms of a lack of delivery". "She said she will serve us as long as we want her".

He told Sky News: "The Prime Minister spoke with, I thought, great authority and also she was generous in acknowledging that the result was not what it should be".

He also told BBC radio that the government would "walk away" without a deal if the talks break down on ending Britain's four-decade membership of the European bloc.

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