Britain's May confident on power-saving deal, to open parliament next week

Theresa May is to hold talks with the Northern Ireland political parties amid warnings an expected deal with the Democratic Unionists (DUP) to prop up her minority government will undermine the peace process.

The listing of four policy areas where the parties are in agreement suggests a final deal may go further than a basic confidence and supply arrangement, which would see the DUP guarantee its support only on financial measures and no-confidence votes.

"Nigel Dodds says he won't commit to any deadline and talks will continue until DUP and Conservatives get right deal", BBC Northern Ireland correspondent Mark Davenport said in a tweet.

A senior Conservative source briefed journalists that there was "broad agreement on the principles of the Queen's Speech", which will set out a slimmed-down programme for government following the failure to secure a majority last week.

If the announcement of the deal is delayed, then the Queen's speech, which is supposed to happen on Monday, June 19, could also be delayed by at least a week.

"The two issues - Northern Ireland and Brexit - might end up making the other more hard, in a vicious circle", Usherwood said.

Sinn Fein's Stormont leader Michelle O'Neill said: "I will be making it very clear that any deal between the Tories and the DUP can not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday and subsequent agreements".

Former prime minister Mr Cameron said Mrs May would have to change her approach to Brexit as a result of the election.

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It had been hoped May and DUP leader Arlene Foster would reach an agreement Wednesday that would give the Conservatives a small working majority. "Scotland voted against Brexit".

Demanding a swift start to Brexit negotiations under Article 50 of the European Union treaties, the former Belgian prime minister compared Britain's position to the heroine of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, who found herself in a room with many doors and no idea what lay behind them.

May's government has said its Brexit plans remain the same, and will be pressing for close economic ties but a clear break with the bloc to be able to control immigration and restore sovereignty over British laws.

"We are continuing to have talks, but today as you will imagine, there has been a real focus on this awful tragedy in London", she said in a televised statement.

A DUP source said: "Our discussions are continuing".

May does not necessarily need a firm deal from the DUP before opening parliament and might hope that she would receive the necessary backing anyway.

"It's imperative that both governments recommit to the word, spirit and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement if there is to be any prospect of re-establishing the Executive", O'Neill said in a statement.

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