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German minister sees hope of ‘soft’ Brexit

The Conservatives delayed this year’s Queen’s Speech as the party held discussions with the DUP to thrash out an agreement on propping up the minority government. Reports suggest that no deal has yet been agreed despite a date being set for the event.Andrea Leadsom, leader of the Britain’s lower legislative house, said that Brexit would require a lot of legislation, including a law to enshrine current European Union rules into British law, known as the “Great Repeal Bill”.After days of uncertainty, the Government announced that the State Opening would now take place on Wednesday June 21 – two days later than originally scheduled.The source confirmed there was no need for a deal on a so-called “confidence and supply” arrangement to be sealed in order to press ahead with the Speech, and said Mrs May wanted the Government to “get on with its business”.Her comments follow warnings by the nationalist parties, Sinn Fein and the SDLP, and the cross-community Alliance Party, that a deal with the DUP would undermine the Government’s attempts to restore the power-sharing executive at Stormont.The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, also referred to as the Belfast Agreement, commits the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to demonstrate “rigorous impartiality” in their dealings with the different political traditions in Northern Ireland.”I am very reassured by what the Prime Minister said to me today that that won’t be the case”.Mr Brokenshire insisted the Government would honour its commitments in the Good Friday Agreement and warned that time was running out if powersharing was to be restored and a return to direct rule from Westminster avoided.”As a UK Government we remain absolutely steadfast in our commitment to the Belfast Agreement, its successor agreements”.”There is very little time left”.DUP leader Arlene Foster, who met Mrs May in No 10 on Tuesday, is understood to have returned to Northern Ireland leaving her deputy Nigel Dodds to represent the party at Thursday’s meeting.Mrs Leadsom said: “Whilst our top priority right now is supporting the victims of the bad tragedy at Grenfell Tower, we also need to look ahead by setting out a legislative programme that not only delivers a successful European Union exit but also a domestic agenda which aims to tackle the social injustices in our country”.It is seen as a critical test for the Government and failure to win the backing of a majority of MPs is seen as a vote of no confidence.