Talks to support May's Conservatives making progress, DUP says

Claudine Rigal
Juin 22, 2017

Although the DUP may still vote for the Queen's Speech next week, the Prime Minister would lack a guaranteed majority to pass any of the Bills in her shrunken legislative programme.

Senior DUP sources in Belfast said last night that the Conservatives had to give "greater focus to discussions" about a confidence and supply deal which Mrs May needs in order to govern.

It says something fairly grim about the Conservatives that, in their talks with the openly misogynist, sectarian and homophobic DUP, the DUP are the ones with major concerns.

His rare absence from the State Opening of Parliament added to the solemnity of an occasion where Prime Minister Theresa May is presenting a legislative program trimmed down following the loss of her majority.

Addressing parliament to set out May's programme, the queen said the government would introduce a "Great Repeal Bill" to convert European Union law into British law, and also bring in new policies on immigration, worldwide sanctions, nuclear safeguards, agriculture and fisheries.

Talks between the DUP and the government "haven't proceeded in a way that DUP would have expected", sources have told Sky News.

"Hard to build, and one that maintains the supports of the kind of normality on the island of Ireland between North and South", said Simon Coveney, the Irish foreign minister.

For Mrs May, negotiating the deal with the DUP is a balancing act.

Ms May said she was steadfastly committed to the Good Friday Agreement and wanted to see a "close and special partnership" with the Republic of Ireland post-Brexit.

The Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II during Queen's Speech in the House of Lords at the Palace of Westminster in London.

Instead, she still hasn't secured a deal with another party to insure that the government can deliver on its agenda.

For the first time since 1974, the Queen wore a hat instead of her crown, day clothes instead of robes, used a vehicle instead of her carriage and eschewed the traditional royal procession into the House of Lords.

After the negative response to plans in the Tory manifesto to make pensioners pay for social care by selling their homes after they died, the Speech promised only a consultation on proposals which will be brought forward to improve social care. "The talks have been taking place in a constructive way", he said. She will commit to working with the Scottish Government and other devolved administrations to secure a "smooth and orderly withdrawal" from the EU.

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