Brexit could be a matter of life or death for Northern Ireland

Claudine Rigal
Juin 20, 2017

She said: "We continue our discussions with the DUP".

Ireland's new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said today he had been reassured by Theresa May that her planned deal with the DUP would not undermine the Good Friday Agreement.

But she added: "On reaching such an agreement we will make sure that the details of that are made public so that people can see exactly what that is based on".

"As a UK Government we remain absolutely steadfast in our commitment to the Belfast Agreement (and) its successor agreements".

Also in Dublin for a meeting with Mr Varadkar, Sinn Fein Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill voiced her optimism that a deal was "doable".

"I will be making that case tomorrow for example despite the fact that it should really be a First Minister and a Deputy First Minister there to meet Michel Barnier or others to make the case for Northern Ireland".

But May's failure to win a majority in last week's election has weakened her position badly and reopened the debate around the Brexit strategy just days before the country opens its divorce talks with Brussels on Monday.

The participants have until June 29 to reach a deal that would see devolution returned or they face the prospect of direct rule being reimposed from Westminster.

On Sunday, Chancellor Philip Hammond criticised the way the election campaign had been run and sidestepped questions over how long the PM would remain in power, saying: "Theresa is leading the Government and I think the Government needs to get on with its job".

Arlene Foster's leadership of the Democratic Unionists remains a stumbling block that could scupper crunch talks to end a powersharing stalemate in Northern Ireland, Sinn Fein has warned.

THE IRISH Government has warned there could be disaster ahead for Ireland if Britain fails to secure a deal to withdraw from the European Union by March 2019.

"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", she said.

Mr Coveney said several "core issues" still stand in the way of an agreement but he said he did not consider them "insurmountable". "We are hopeful of getting resolution to them as quickly as we possibly can".

"I hope we will have an executive that will involve them all too".

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