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Restoring powersharing the priority as Brexit talks begin, says Irish minister

On his talks in London with Prime Minister Theresa May on Thursday, he said they had offered an “Irish solution to an English problem” as giving Northern Ireland special European Union status after Brexit to keep an open border on the island.”I am looking forward to travelling to Downing Street today to meet the British Prime Minister, Theresa May“, he said.”As long as progressive social policies are not imposed by a British government on the Northern Ireland Assembly, the DUP are not interested in changing such policies in Britain itself”, Mr McCartan reckoned.Mr Varadkar said he was reassured by the commitment to transparency and ensuring the deal does “not in any way impact on the Good Friday Agreement”.As he travelled to Belfast to participate in negotiations for the first time, Simon Coveney pledged to “spare no effort” in the process to salvage the crisis-hit institutions at Stormont.Theresa May has insisted a proposed deal with the DUP to prop up her minority Government will not be allowed to undermine the Good Friday Agreement. “I think it will not actually make as dramatic a difference as people think”.The power-sharing executive in NI broke down in March after Sinn Fein pulled their support following the cash for ash scandal.The participants have until June 29 to reach a deal that would see devolution returned or they face the prospect of direct rule being reimposed from Westminster.”We want to get back to an executive that has all the parties around the table to collectively take decisions”.The institutions collapsed amid a bitter row between the DUP and Sinn Fein about a botched green energy scheme.Addressing the Communist Party of Britain’s executive committee, he declared that the DUP priority would be to gain more public money and reduce corporation tax on business profits to serve its own narrow interests in northern Ireland.Asked if his party favoured a hard or soft Brexit, Mr Hamilton said the preference was for a “sensible Brexit”.Newly-appointed Simon Coveney stressed the importance of getting an agreement that reflected the north’s circumstances as he took part in talks to restore power-sharing at Stormont yesterday.Ireland’s communists were engaged in a series of discussion forums with disillusioned Irish republicans, Mr McCartan revealed, arguing for “people’s anti-imperialist politics” as the alternative to both Sinn Fein reformism and a return to militarism.