Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Arlene Foster's DUP leadership could scupper powersharing talks, Sinn Fein warns

SOME politicians don't realise when they have it so good and often find it hard to resist the urge to go after even more power - quite often just for the sake of it.

Talks aimed at propping up Mrs May's minority Government - after a disastrous General Election showing saw the Tories lose their parliamentary majority - are "ongoing", according to Downing Street sources who insisted the PM had never set a timeline on the negotiations. Perhaps it is. But I'm going to ask a few questions first.

Northern Ireland has been without a power-sharing executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January.

"As I head to Brussels to open official talks to leave the EU, there should be no doubt - we are leaving the European Union", said Davis, who will launch the talks with chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier.

Reaffirming the Communist Party of Ireland's "total opposition" to European Union membership, Mr McCartan argued that the issue was very problematic for Sinn Fein, which changed its position to support European Union membership in Britain's referendum past year.

Both leaders expressed confidence that the Stormont institutions could be up and running again by the deadline of June 29, averting a return to direct rule from Westminster.

In a tweet which has unsurprisingly gone viral, a reporter for Sky News Australia confirmed that not only did they think Sinn Féin was an actual person, but that he was also a member of the DUP.

The remarks came after warnings by the nationalist Sinn Fein and SDLP and the cross-community Alliance Party that a deal with the DUP would undermine the Government's attempts to restore the powersharing executive at Stormont.

Having lost a majority in parliament, May is in talks with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to secure the support of its 10 lawmakers to win any kind of vote, including on the pieces of legislation needed to enact Britain's divorce from the EU.

"My Government remains absolutely committed to a successful outcome from these talks, and we remain steadfast in our support for the Belfast Agreement and its successors".

According to a statement, Mr Davis is expected to say that while there is a long road ahead, the destination was clear - "A deep and special partnership between the United Kingdom and the EU".

One former minister and influential figure said: "If we had a strong signal that she were backsliding I think she would be in major difficulty".

The Irish foreign minister said an agreement should not be an accord struck only between the two largest parties - the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Recent political agreements in Northern Ireland have essentially been negotiated between the DUP and Sinn Fein.

With May's electoral gamble backfiring, does she still have a mandate?

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