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UK leader holds alliance talks with Northern Ireland party chief

16 June 2017

May is set to meet with the Democratic Unionist Party of Northern Ireland on Tuesday to cobble together a deal to ensure her minority government can get its Queen's Speech through Parliament.

Adams' claim comes after former Conservative Prime Minister John Major voiced his serious reservations about a deal between the Tories and the DUP to prop up the Conservative government.

She hosted DUP leader Arlene Foster at Downing Street to thrash out the terms of the Northern Ireland party's backing and agreement to vote with the Tories on policies in the House of Commons to get bills through.

The meeting is taking place to see if an alliance can be created to push through the Conservative Party's agenda after a disastrous snap election left her short of a majority in Parliament.

Negotiations on Britain's withdrawal from the European Union will begin between British and EU officials on Monday, the British government said in a statement.

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

Though on the surface, Thursday's meetings with Northern Irish parties were aimed at breaking the logjam in forming a new cross-party regional government in the province, May needs broader acceptance in the province of a Conservative-DUP deal.

A conclusion on the deal was expected on Wednesday, but the decision may now be delayed to next week, after the DUP said it would be inappropriate to conclude talks and announce a deal on the same day as a fire consumed a tower block in west London, killing 12 people.

But Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain's main opposition, said his Labour Party would not support May's Queen's Speech in the lower house of parliament to try to force her out of power through a vote of no confidence.

Pictured above are Sinn Féin's Northern Ireland leader Michelle O'Neill and party president Gerry Adams.

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The border between Britain's Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland is also a major issue in the talks over Britain's departure from the European Union.

The report cited unnamed sources, and the finance ministry declined to comment.

During the appearance, Ms O'Neill said: 'We made very clear to the prime minister that any deal between herself and the DUP can not undermine the Good Friday agreement.

"I think it's very self-interested, putting party before peace in Northern Ireland - party interest before peace and stability in Northern Ireland - and I do think it's that serious".

May, who ahead of the June referendum supported remaining in the European Union, has promised to start the Brexit talks next week but opponents of a sharp break with the European Union took her woes as a chance to push back against her strategy.

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Speaking on BBC Radio 4's World at One, John Major said in regards to the peace process that "People shouldn't regard it as a given".