DUP move does 'not necessarily' undermine peace process, Irish minister says

DUP move does 'not necessarily' undermine peace process, Irish minister says

Beleaguered British Prime Minister Theresa May is appointing new members of her government after several of them lost their seats in Parliament in this week's general election that proved disastrous for her Conservative Party.

"Mrs May, who was supposed to emerge strengthened, lost her bet and is therefore in a less than clear situation because the truth is that we don't really know what the governing situation is this morning", EU Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici told French radio Europe 1.

Eight seats shy of a majority, the Conservative Party is now in negotiations with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, who won 10 seats in Parliament, on a "confidence and supply" deal which would see the DUP support the Conservatives on key votes.

"What I'm doing now is actually getting on with the immediate job". "I think the only thing that political commentators can agree on is that we have uncertainty right now and nobody has any clue what shape this negotiation is going to take".

She said: "They have achieved little propping up Tory governments in the past and put their own interests before those of the people. I believe that's important".

May has struggled to reassert her authority after losing her parliamentary majority in Thursday's snap election, which she had been under no pressure to call.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, riding a wave of acclaim for his party's unexpectedly strong showing, called on May to resign. "He is the actual victor of the early vote in Britain", Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, a Social Democrat, said on Twitter.

That did not help May, who in her previous role as interior minister for six years had overseen cuts in the number of police officers.

The republican party's leader at Stormont, Michelle O'Neill, predicted the deal between the Tories and the Democratic Unionist Party will "end in tears".

But her campaign unravelled after a policy u-turn on care for the elderly, while Corbyn's old-school socialist platform and more impassioned campaigning style won wider support than anyone had foreseen. Liam Fox, trade minister, also said that May was the only person to take Britain out of the European Union.

But the confusion reinforced a sense of chaos at the heart of government just days before Britain starts the complex and fraught negotiations on leaving the European Union.

"Theresa May is a dead woman walking".

EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said it may now be possible to discuss closer ties between Britain and the EU than May had initially planned, given her election flop. A spokesman for her office said she would go to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government - a formality under the British system. Other parties too are calling on her to step down.

Two of her closest aides, Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, who had been the focus of some criticism, resigned on Saturday.

The spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister reiterated that the Government's approach and objectives in the forthcoming talks to re-establish the Northern Ireland Executive remained unchanged".

The DUP does not work or negotiate on Sundays for religious reasons, but officials from both sides are due to meet on Monday, and DUP leader Arlene Foster told Sky News she would meet May on Tuesday.

The little-known, ultraconservative DUP party said "talks so far have been positive".

Highlighting Conservative austerity cuts and its stance on Brexit, Mrs O'Neill claimed the DUP link-up with Mrs May would spell bad news for Northern Ireland, a region that voted for Remain.

However, its roots are apparent in its vehement opposition to gay marriage, abortion and Irish language rights.

But the wooing of the DUP risks upsetting the political balance in Northern Ireland by aligning London more closely with the pro-British side in the divided province, where a power-sharing government with Irish nationalists is now suspended.

"So a fascinating time - Theresa May staring down the camera lens and telling the country: "I am still in charge".

"There has been a lot of hyperbole about the DUP since Thursday", Foster said.

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