Thursday, 22 June, 2017

DUP deal threatens Northern Ireland peace, says former negotiator

DUP leader Arlene Foster gives her thoughts on the general election during a television interview at the Belfast count centre May warned she must re-think Brexit strategy after humiliation at ballot box
Conrad Doyle | 12 June, 2017, 12:46

He also revealed the wrecking tactics Labour intend to use in Parliament in a bid to force the Tories from power.

Other senior Conservatives however warned against a leadership challenge with Iain Duncan Smith saying it would be a "grave error".

British media said moves were afoot in Mrs May's Conservative Party to dislodge her, while opposition Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who exceeded expectations in the election, insisted she could be ousted and he could replace her.

"It is deeply concerning that a party responsible for so much pain could be in a position to exert so much influence".

"Everybody is positioning themselves", said Anand Menon, professor of European politics and foreign affairs at Kings College London. I wouldn't go that far at this stage, but I think life is going to become very hard for Theresa May and the euro skeptics who want Britain to pull out of the European Union. Their core, central message was strong and stable leadership.

Among Tory MPs there was fury at the way a 20-point opinion poll lead at the start of the campaign had been thrown away in an election which she did not need to call for another three years. And the objective of its campaign seemed to be not to get close even to winning the election but simply to avoid some sort of complete wipeout.

British Prime Minister Theresa May, who failed to win the 326 seats required to achieve a majority in the House of Commons, has met with Queen Elizabeth.

This was the election nobody won, a monumental gamble with Britain's future that didn't pay off, and everything is still to play for.

Seven Republican Sinn Fein members who want a united Ireland were also elected on Thursday, but they do not attend or vote as the party does not recognize Westminster rule.

"How do you negotiate when you know that the position of the partner that you're negotiating with is extremely weak?" says Klaas of the London School of Economics.

"The movement of Remainers and young voters towards Labour explains why the Conservatives have lost their overall majority", political scientist John Curtice of the University of Strathclyde said Friday.

"If she has an ounce of self respect, she will resign".

Previous Conservative governments have relied on Ulster unionist votes, but this is the first time a formal deal has been done with the DUP. Will the Democratic Unionists get something for their pains?

Speaking outside Number 10 earlier in the day, Mrs May pledged to form a government that can "provide certainty and lead Britain forward at this critical time".

The DUP is similar to the "religious right" in the United States and takes a hardline stance on social issues, such as same-sex marriage and abortion. But I think the more problematic aspect of this arrangement - the Democratic Unionists agreed to support the conservatives on really major votes in Parliament.

Prior to the election, the Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire was already facing criticism from Irish nationalists about his alleged lack of impartiality regarding dealing with the legacy of Northern Ireland's troubles.

Earlier, Mrs May announced that she meant to carry on in No 10 at the head of a minority government with the support of the Democratic Unionists (DUP) after falling eight seats short of an overall majority. We've only just scratched the surface here.

On Brexit, Mr Corbyn said he wants a "jobs-first Brexit" negotiated as quickly as possible along with guaranteeing the post-Brexit rights of European Union nationals living in the UK. So what happens now?

"I certainly think that there will be contact made over the weekend but I think it is too soon to talk about what we're going to do". We reached him via Skype.

SCULLY: Thanks very much, Michel.

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