UK's Theresa May holds talks to seal government alliance

Theresa May called an unnecessary general election in the hopes of receiving a clear mandate from the citizens of the United Kingdom: that they trust her and her Conservative government to carry the country through the historic upcoming Brexit negotiations.

"She said: 'I'm the person who got us into this mess and I'm the one who is going to get us out of it, ' " said one Conservative lawmaker who attended Monday's meeting.

Chancellor Philip Hammond and Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson are pushing for a more open approach that puts the economy and jobs ahead of immigration, but Brexiteer ministers are said to be threatening a walk-out if Ms May softens her approach.

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.

An agreement between the Tories and DUP is thought to be close, with Mrs May saying the talks had been "productive" and emphasising the need for "stability" in government.

As Mrs Foster met with her MPs in Westminster, she said: "The future's bright", prompting Ian Paisley junior to respond: "The future's orange". She looked at her watch and ignored a question from a reporter who asked: "What is your price?"

May is due to meet the leaders of all five Northern Ireland political parties, June 15, in an effort to try and form a consensus over power-sharing, following the fallout between Sinn Fein and the DUP in January, when Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness resigned as deputy First Minister, throwing the executive - the devolved government - into chaos.

"There is a unity of goal among people in the United Kingdom", May said, following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

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But he has responded in typically colourful fashion, tweeting: " Mail on Sunday tripe - I am backing Theresa may ". Thursday's General Election saw the Conservatives win only 318 seats, eight shy of winning an overall majority.

He also warned it would cost the party "a bucketload" of votes as British voters would reject the unionists' socially-conservative views.

A failure to gain support from the Northern Irish party would risk the Queen's Speech being voted down next week, and Jeremy Corbyn has said Labour will be pushing hard for that outcome.

Ministers have already said that the Queen's Speech, scheduled for 19 June, may have to be delayed because of the ongoing talks.

Before the election, May proposed a clean break from the European Union, involving withdrawal from Europe's single market, limits on immigration and a bespoke customs deal with the EU.

May's European Union adviser Oliver Robbins was in Brussels on Monday for a working lunch with the European Union chief Brexit negotiator, Michel Barnier.

"The British government has said we will stay with the Brexit", Mr Schaeuble said. The Evening Standard, edited by ex-Treasury chief George Osborne, is reporting that Cabinet ministers have initiated talks with Labour lawmakers. Business groups also favour this option that would lead to fewer tariffs on trade.

Despite the uncertainty over her ability to govern, May had confirmed that Brexit negotiations - expected to be the most complex global talks Britain has held for decades - would begin as planned next week.

But pressure was mounting on Mrs May to change course on the type of Brexit Britain should pursue, and consult more widely across rival parties.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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