Deal over UK minority government 'close'

Tom MarkLast Update : Monday 26 June 2017 - 8:35 AM
Deal over UK minority government 'close'

The leader of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has said a deal between the party and the Conservatives support a minority government is “close”.

Arlene Foster is expected to meet Theresa May in London at 10:30 BST on Monday.

Theresa May is seeking the backing of the DUP’s 10 MPs after losing her majority in the general election.

Both sides have been in talks since the general election, but a deal has not yet been confirmed.

Writing in the Belfast Telegraph, DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “I believe we are close to concluding an appropriate agreement with the Conservative Party to support a minority government on a confidence and supply basis.”

She added that “progress has been slow but we continue to work through the issues”.

Separately, Mrs Foster told Sky News that agreement between the DUP and Conservatives at Westminster could bring parties in Northern Ireland closer to a power-sharing deal.

The Northern Ireland parties have until 29 June to find agreement over restoring the devolved government.

The parties have been warned that if they cannot reach agreement then direct rule could follow.

Parties have raised concerns that the ongoing DUP-Tory talks are undermining the negotiations on restoring devolution at Stormont.

However, Mrs Foster told Sky News: “We’re back in London again and my hope is that we will be able to finalise a deal between ourselves and the Conservative Party.

“I think that this agreement will bring the prospects of doing at deal at Stormont closer because this will have a positive impact in relation to Northern Ireland.

“I very much hope that this week we will be able to conclude on two agreements.”

Northern Ireland has been without a power-sharing executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January.

The institutions collapsed amid a bitter row between the DUP and Sinn Féin about a botched green energy scheme.

The late deputy first minister, Martin McGuinness, stood down, in a move that triggered a snap election.

Source: world bbc

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