Talks between UK PM May's Conservatives and Northern Ireland's DUP restart

Prime Minister David Cameron's representatives met with Peter Robinson's DUP and drafted an agreement should the Northern Ireland party hold the balance of power

Prime Minister David Cameron's representatives met with Peter Robinson's DUP and drafted an agreement should the Northern Ireland party hold the balance of power

May lost her parliamentary majority in last week's election and needs the support of the DUP's 10 lawmakers to pass key legislation.

It was reported that diary commitments meant finalisation of any deal could be delayed until next week.

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said even though the party opposes same-sex marriage, it is "nonsense" to call the party homophobic.

A senior Conservative source said: 'We are making a lot of progress.

The proposed "supply and confidence" deal would see the DUP back the Conservatives in votes on the Budget and confidence motions.

The DUP is believed to be more favorable to a "soft Brexit" that would keep Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland free-flowing.

Mrs May's botched election gamble has left her so weakened that her Brexit strategy is the subject of debate within her party, with former prime ministers John Major and David Cameron calling on her to soften her Brexit approach.

"It's going to be hard".

But pressure was mounting for May to change course on the type of Brexit Britain should pursue. However, he added that once it was done, Brexit would be hard to reverse.

Uncertainty over Brexit has already had a "negative impact on everybody in Europe, especially on Britain", said Mr Verhofstadt.

"Look at what the Tories (Conservatives) have managed to do to the United Kingdom in the space of just one year, firstly calling a divisive and reckless European Union referendum. then having lost that gamble pursuing a hard Brexit path", Scotland's first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said.

May's government has said its Brexit plans remain the same, and will be pressing for close economic ties but a clear break with the bloc to be able to control immigration and restore sovereignty over British laws. I think people here in Northern Ireland have had enough.

"It's a unity of goal, having voted to leave the European Union, that their government gets on with that and makes a success of it". "We will negotiate in good faith but it is a negotiation, we recognize there will be an exchange of views and we will take that forward in a spirit of genuine cooperation".

However, putting the pro-British unionist DUP in a position of influence in London could also undermine the British government's ability, enshrined in a 1998 peace agreement, to function as an impartial broker between Northern Ireland's unionists and its Catholic Irish nationalists.

British Prime Minister Theresa May faced further delays in forming her new government today after her would-be allies said their agreement would be put back following a deadly tower block blaze in London.

A DUP source said: "Our discussions are continuing".

"I will be in London and Dublin over the coming days for talks with both Theresa May and the new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar", she said.

The prospect of a deal between the two parties has caused disquiet, with the DUP's anti-abortion and gay rights stance in the crosshairs.

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