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UK's Hammond says economy should be priority in Brexit talks

18 June, 2017, 02:27 | Author: Rachael Silva
  • PM May not sobbing over election, Brexit minister says

The concession sets the tone for negotiations over Britain's withdrawal from the European Union that are set to begin in Brussels on Monday.

The DUP, under Mrs Foster, is close to striking a deal with the Conservatives that would allow a beleaguered Theresa May to form a minority government in London.

The British government has set a deadline of June 29 for an agreement on power-sharing.

"We've set out the broad principles from where we will start the negotiation and we will negotiate in good faith, but it is a negotiation and we recognise there will be an exchange of views and we will take that forward in a spirit of genuine cooperation", Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond told reporters in Luxembourg on Friday.

A source in May's Conservative Party said talks continued on Friday.

"So I think it is very much doable to have a deal by the end of this month", she concluded.

"It takes two to tango and we're ready to dance", she said.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams also led a party delegation including its leader in the North, Michelle O'Neill, for a first meeting on Northern Ireland with the new Taoiseach.

Mr Adams said they would be pushing Mr Varadkar to raise the prospect of a border poll on Irish reunification within the next five years in discussions with the British government.

Mr Barnier and British Brexit Secretary David Davis will open the talks on Monday at 11 am in Brussels with the aim of wrapping up a deal by the end of 2018 so that it can be ratified by the European and British parliaments before the United Kingdom leaves the bloc in March 2019.

The talks also gave her the opportunity to try to reassure the other parties that a tie-up with the DUP would not compromise Britain's impartiality in the delicate Northern Ireland peace process.

"What would happen then?"

"If the government cannot even secure a deal with the DUP, how on earth can they get a deal with the European Union?" asked MP Alistair Carmichael. The party has refused to give a time frame for reaching a deal, though May is due in Brussels for an European Union summit on June 22-23 when she will want to show she has a solid grip on power.

On Brexit, Mrs Foster said the DUP wanted to see "a sensible Brexit and one that works for everybody".

"We're not going to get into - and I know there has been a lot of talk about our position in relation to social issues for example - those are matters for the Northern Ireland assembly - they are not matters for Westminster and therefore we will not be dealing with them at Westminster", she told the BBC.


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