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First round of Brexit talks to begin on June 19

Meanwhile, talks are continuing between the DUP and Conservatives, to secure the support of the DUP’s 10 MPs in steering government business, including crucial measures on Brexit, through the Commons.Though on the surface, Thursday’s meeting with Northern Irish parties is aimed at breaking the logjam in forming a new cross-party regional government in the province, May needs broader acceptance of a Conservative-DUP deal.”The focus has to be on plan A, which is to get the institutions in place, that is our focus and we would like to think it will be the focus of the incoming taoiseach”, he said. “We need to hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”.A poll released last summer has shown 70% of people in Northern Ireland support same-sex marriage.May left Downing Street without responding to reporters’ questions on whether an agreement had been reached with the DUP, which is needed to help the Conservatives command the majority they lost in last week’s election.May apologised to Conservative MPs on Monday, accepting personal responsibility for failing to win an outright victory and sacrificing the parliamentary majority she inherited from her predecessor David Cameron when she came to power past year following the UK’s vote to exit the European Union (EU).The 1998 Good Friday Agreement commits the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to demonstrate “rigorous impartiality” in their dealings with the different political traditions in Northern Ireland.Sinn Féin spoke out this afternoon, warning Theresa May that a deal with the DUP would be in breach of the Good Friday agreement.Ms May is now engaged in talks with the Democratic Unionist Party over a so-called “confidence and supply” arrangement that give the Conservatives a majority in the House of Commons and the ability to form a government.May called for the early election in mid-April to get a “stronger hand” in Brexit negotiations with the European Union (EU) but instead cost her party the overall majority in Parliament. Michel Barnier warned that no progress had been made in the three months since May triggered Article 50, starting the process of leaving the union.”My preoccupation is that time is passing, it is passing quicker than anyone believes because the subjects we have to deal with are extraordinarily complex…” “I can’t negotiate with myself”.