Published: Tue, June 20, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

PM Theresa May confident of securing deal to stay in power


Mr Coveney said a deal was "do-able" but there were differences between the parties that needed to be bridged.

Varadkar said he would emphasize to May the British and Irish governments must remain impartial in Northern Ireland, as stipulated by the Good Friday Agreement.

The uncertainty surrounding the Prime Minister's grip on power continued as Philip Hammond was set to deliver a keynote Mansion House address on the economy and Brexit on Tuesday.

Talks to restore confidence took a back seat in recent days as the political focus largely shifted to London and the DUP's deal to prop up the Conservatives at Westminster.

DUP MLA Simon Hamilton also struck a positive tone following the first round-table plenary session of a talks process that started last week.

She said: "There is an irony to being lectured by some about our role in the national government of the United Kingdom when Sinn Fein want to be in government here in the Republic of Ireland".

On the talks to strike a deal between the DUP and British conservatives to safeguard a new Tory government Mr Coveney said the Government was concerned "that if that deal wasn't an appropriate deal it could undermine the Good Friday agreement".

The start of parliament has been delayed since last week's election, a gamble May took to strengthen her hand in talks to leave the European Union but which has left her scrambling for a deal to keep her in power.

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 parties have until 29 June to reach agreement and have been warned that direct rule could follow if they can't.

"The people of Northern Ireland need devolved government working in the best interests of the whole community", he said.

He added: "We see no reason why devolution and the executive can't be up and running now".

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader, Michelle O'Neill, said her party was up for striking a deal.

He said: "I will do my utmost to support the parties in reaching an agreement which ensures the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement is fully protected, that all of its institutions function effectively and fairly and that previous agreements are honourably implemented".

Sinn Fein and the Democratic Unionists both agree a deal to restore a powersharing administration in Northern Ireland can be done by the end of the month.

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