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Peace process 'under stress' by a Tory-DUP government - but May isn't worried

Prime Minister Theresa May’s response: her government still supports the peace process.

DUP leader Arlene Foster and DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds arriving at 10 Downing Street today.
DUP leader Arlene Foster and DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds arriving at 10 Downing Street today.
Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images

THE TORIES HAVE been told that forming a government with the DUP could jeopardise the peace process in Northern Ireland.

“The peace process is fragile,” former prime minister John Major told the BBC today. “It isn’t a given, it is uncertain, it is under stress.”

He said that he believed that if a deal is reached, the government “will not be seen to be impartial” which will create problems for communities in the North.

…hard men are still there, lurking in the corners of communities deciding they wish to return to some sort of violence.

But a press conference this evening, when asked about Major’s warning to the Tories, May said her government still supports the Belfast agreement and the peace process in Northern Ireland.

She said that their support would be used to create a stable UK government.

France v England - International Friendly - Stade de France Theresa May travelled to Paris this evening to meet with French president Emmanuel Macron. Source: Mike Egerton/PA Images

Talks between the Conservative party and the DUP ended today without a conclusion.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who was asked to resign in the wake of a heating incentive scandal that cost the government hundreds of thousands of pounds, said on Twitter that discussions are ‘going well’ and that there will be an agreement of sorts.

May left Downing Street without responding to reporters’ questions on whether an agreement had been reached with the DUP, which is needed to help the Conservatives command the majority they lost in last week’s election.

She later joined MPs in the House of Commons, where opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arrived to applause from his fellow lawmakers.

“It is clear that our country faces some of the greatest challenges of our time,” she told parliament.

Meanwhile, there are concerns in Europe about what all this means for the upcoming Brexit negotiations.

“I can’t negotiate with myself,” was Michel Barnier’s response, who’s the EU’s chief Brexit negotiator.

“My preoccupation is that time is passing – it’s passing quicker than anyone believes… That’s why we’re ready to start very quickly.”

Talks between the DUP and the Tories are set to continue again tomorrow.

Read: ‘Sensible’ Tories holding secret talks with Labour to ensure a soft Brexit

Poll: Are you worried about how the Tory-DUP deal could affect the peace process?

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