Conservatives to strike ‘sensible’ deal with DUP, says Grayling

Simon Coveney, in Stormont for talks to reinstate powersharing in Northern Ireland, warned that the Irish government would insist on finding a solution that protects its terms in full.The prospect of the DUP getting everything it wants from London in exchange for propping up the Conservative government adds fuel to an already tense situation. He told BBC Newsnight: “We have got off to the worst possible start because the Prime Minister called an election that she didn’t need to call”.May called the election in a bid to increase her majority and strengthen her hand within her party ahead of the Brexit talks.Mr Coveney said a number of “core issues” still stand in the way of an agreement but he said he did not consider them “insurmountable”. But she has forgotten her most important negotiating asset – an actual government behind her.Having had the vote blocked by the UK Government, the SNP then suffered the wrath of the electorate as opposition parties put Indyref2 front and centre of the campaign at the snap election.For its part, the Dublin government – a member of the EU – is anxious by the adverse political and economic effects of May government’s courting of the DUP and her negotiations to leave the union.May’s government said it would work with the EU to preserve United Kingdom and European security, and to fight terrorism and uphold justice across Europe.PARKER: As you say, it would basically represent a clean break for Britain from the European Union.The uncertainty surrounding the Prime Minister’s grip on power continued as Philip Hammond was set to deliver a keynote Mansion House address on the economy and Brexit on Tuesday.In media interviews on June 12, the Conservative MP backed Theresa May and argued that voters had overwhelmingly backed the UK’s Brexit plan.The Conservatives gained 42.4 per cent of the vote on June 8, while the Labour Party picked up 40 per cent.Mirroring the country, Unlock Democracy members and supporters were divided on Brexit; some see it as a bright opportunity for national renewal, others fear it will mean the end of hard won rights and freedoms.Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD has urged Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to stand-up for the entire island of Ireland in his first meeting with British Prime Minister in London today.Parties return to talks on Monday in a last-ditch bid to break the impasse.”If the DUP really wants to go into the Executive, that party needs to decide whether it is now prepared to embrace a rights-based approach to government in the North”. A former principal private secretary to Labour prime ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the career civil servant was later deputy national security adviser before being appointed permanent secretary of Mr Davis’s Department for Exiting the European Union in July 2016.Three days after the talks begin, May is due to travel to Brussels for an European Union summit – a chance for the other 27 leaders to take stock of their negotiating partner in the sharply altered climate brought about by the dramas of the past two weeks.