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Varadkar and Foster to meet amid nerves over Tory-DUP deal

Varadkar and Foster to meet amid nerves over Tory-DUP deal

DUP leader Arlene Foster has indicated a deal to support the Conservatives' minority government is close to being finalised.

The DUP leader declined to give details of what she termed a "positive engagement with the Conservative Party", but said she would be travelling to London late on Monday for discussions with her team of 10 MPs before a meeting with Mrs May at Downing Street on Tuesday.

"The last thing anybody wishes to see is one or other of the communities so aggrieved that the hard men, who are still there lurking in the corners of the communities, decide that they wish to return to some form of violence", Mr Major told BBC radio.

But speaking during a visit to Paris to meet French president Emmanuel Macron, Mrs May told reporters: "We as Government remain absolutely steadfast in our commitment to the Belfast Agreement and the subsequent agreements and we continue to work with all the parties in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland in ensuring that we can continue to put in place those measures necessary to fulfil those agreements".

A deal between the government and the Democratic Unionist party will not be announced on Wednesday because of the calamitous fire that engulfed a tower block in west London.

His bullish tone - attacking the Tory party as "anti-worker, anti-disabled people, anti-pensioner and anti-young people" - poured cold water on suggestions from another Tory grandee, former Foreign Secretary William Hague, that May should consider cross-party working, especially on Brexit, to shore-up her authority.

"The Labour Party stands ready to offer strong and stable leadership in the national interest", he said.

Ex-MP Mr Barwell replaced Mrs May's key aides Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, whose resignations were reportedly demanded by Tory MPs as the price of their support for the leader.

The Northern Ireland party has come to May's aid after last week's general election left the prime minister eight seats short of the 326 seats needed in the House of Commons to command an overall majority.

But she added that talks had also addressed "doing what's right for Northern Ireland, in respect of economic matters".

"It is in the interests of the City and the United Kingdom economy for us to be able to trade freely with the European Union and continue to access and attract the global talent and expertise that makes London the world's financial heart", Inga Beale from Lloyds of London said in a recent interview.

Labour is set for an improved showing compared with 2015, with Jeremy Corbyn's party predicted to win 266 seats, an increase of 34 on its performance two years ago. Without a so-called confidence and supply deal with the DUP, her party risks losing the vote next week on the Queen's Speech.

Writing in Tuesday's Daily Telegraph, Hague called for a Brexit settlement that allowed any European Union worker with a job secured in the U.K.to move to the country (a much "softer" Brexit than May has signaled) and said that business groups and opposition parties, including Labour, should be brought in to discuss the way forward.

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster has tweeted that discussions with British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative Party are "going well" and that she hopes for a conclusion soon.

"It's going to be hard, there's no doubt about that, but perhaps an opportunity to consult more widely with the other parties on how best we can achieve it", Cameron was reported by the FT as saying at a conference in Poland.

"There's no doubt that there is a new player on the stage", Mr Cameron said. On Sunday she brought back into the Cabinet Michael Gove, a Brexit supporter she'd fired a year earlier.


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