DUP to 'support soft Irish border' in Brexit talks

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams is expected to come to Downing Street today alongside party leader Michelle O'Neill

Ahead of the talks, Michelle O'Neill, Sinn Fein's leader in the Northern Ireland Stormont assembly, said: "I will be making it very clear that any deal between the Tories and the DUP can not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday and subsequent agreements". She has held meetings with key Northern Ireland leaders, including the DUP.

"If the Government does not provide a user-friendly, flexible and affordable immigration system for European Union nationals post Brexit. significant numbers of employers will be forced to relocate or focus future growth outside the United Kingdom", said Gerwyn Davies, CIPD labor market adviser.

Several Conservative and other leaders have cautioned against the coalition since it would compromise London's neutral position between the contending groups in Northern Ireland - the Republicans and Unionists - and adversely hit the Good Friday Agreement.

Sinn Fein parliamentarians were also in London on Thursday to raise concerns with the British government that the Conservative-DUP deal could prevent the restoration of power sharing in Northern Ireland.

But some Tories have admitted they are concerned about a "very serious" backlash and fear Mrs May's image may have been damaged irrevocably.

"But time is running short and the parties must come together by the 29 June for the return of a strong voice at (Northern Ireland's seat of government) Stormont", she added.

"Obviously also we are going to have a discussion around Brexit".

The government confirmed the speech setting out its priorities would take place next Wednesday.

"The Prime Minister will have to do a lot more, however, to convince us that the DUP tail isn't wagging the Tory dog". She has really hacked off the parliamentary party for obvious reasons.

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.

Brexit Secretary David Davis and European Union negotiator Michel Barnier confirmed the Brexit talks would start on Monday following preliminary talks between officials in Brussels.

May does not necessarily need a firm deal from the DUP before opening parliament and might hope that she would receive the necessary backing anyway.

He said: "In my lifetime we have seen off Section 28 and its equivalent in Scotland, equalised the age of consent, made civil partnerships a reality and then achieved marriage equality".

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