Brexit Talks Should Be Postponed

Arlene Foster and Theresa May have worked together behind the scenes on things they agree on in the past and in some ways some areas of the Conservative party mirror aspects of the DUP.

But the turmoil of the euro zone crisis, fears in Britain about immigration and a series of miscalculations by former Prime Minister David Cameron prompted Britain to vote by 52 to 48 percent for Brexit in a June 23 referendum previous year.

"We spoke about the very important need for both governments to be impartial actors when it comes to Northern Ireland and that we are co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement and that any agreement that may exist between the Conservatives and the DUP should not in any way impact on the Good Friday Agreement", he said.

"Their influence on the British Government is a cause for deep concern that must be addressed to assure the public and political parties of the independence of the talks process".

The parties have until 29 June to reach agreement and have been warned that direct rule could follow if they can't. They also have a strong incentive to deny the United Kingdom a deal so attractive it might encourage others to follow the British example.

"It all depends on the trade deal with the EU", said Robert Murphy, a former customs official at the Irish tax authority who later worked at the European Commission in Brussels.

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.

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Talks between the two are ongoing but the opening of the new Parliament is set for Wednesday.

Ireland's new prime minister said Monday he is "reassured" about a possible deal between the Conservative Party and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Northern Ireland has been without a powersharing executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January, after Sinn Fein collapsed the administration amid faltering trust and relations with the DUP.

"I think we will continue to work away on that to try to deliver devolution, to get devolution back up and running again for the people of Northern Ireland so we can deliver for them on the issues of health, education, jobs and the economy".

Asked if the Brexit process increased the pressure on her party to re-establish an Executive, Mrs O'Neill said Sinn Fein was already making the case across Europe for Northern Ireland to retain special designated European Union status.

He added: "If the DUP imagines it can wind back the clock, with a Tory side deal or not, and re-establish the institutions without adherence to equality and rights, then the DUP is indeed living in a fool's paradise".

Ms May said she was steadfastly committed to the Good Friday Agreement and wanted to see a "close and special partnership" with the Republic of Ireland post-Brexit.

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