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Former PM Major: May's DUP deal is risk to Northern Ireland peace

16 June 2017

After a disastrous general election for British Prime Minister Theresa May, Britain's Conservative government may now be propped up by a small Northern Irish party, the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Conservative former Prime Minister Sir John, who was crucial in bringing peace to Northern Ireland, raised concerns about the impact of a Tory deal with the DUP.

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill 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".

Concessions on such issues could seriously damage efforts by the DUP to secure a deal with Sinn Fein to restore Northern Ireland's devolved government, which collapsed in January.

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One of the more significant meetings being held is that of Theresa May with the Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams which is said to be taking place this afternoon.

The MLA, who will also meet new Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Friday, said it was imperative both governments recommitted to the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement if there was to be any prospect of re-establishing Northern Ireland's Executive.

Sources in the Northern Ireland party indicated today that discussions with the Conservatives are on the verge of being completed - although they have been slowed by the tragic tower block blaze in West London. The DUP also wants to ensure Sinn Fein can no longer claim salaries, allowances and office expenses while it refuses to take its Westminster seats.

Foster said one of her main aims at Tuesday's talks with May was to get "a good deal on Brexit" for Northern Ireland.

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ISSUES AROUND GAY marriage and abortion will not form part of the negotiations between the DUP and the Conservatives to support a Tory government in Westminster according to a former MLA for North Belfast.

Trimble said on Monday he was confident Tory MPs would back an arrangement under which the DUP's 10 MPs would prop up a Tory minority government, despite reports of unease among more centrist Conservatives. The talks have a deadline of June 29 to restore devolution or reinstate direct rule.

The DUP's leader has insisted her party are not "homophobes" as their track record of opposing LGBT rights comes into the limelight. "We need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst".

A Downing Street source said the talks had been "constructive" but refused to put a timescale on when they would conclude.

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Some of the other NI parties have said salvaging devolution at Stormont will become more hard if such a deal comes into effect.

Former PM Major: May's DUP deal is risk to Northern Ireland peace