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DUP head: Talks with UK Conservatives going well

With formal European Union divorce talks due next week, May heads to France on Tuesday to meet Emmanuel Macron, who last month swept to victory in its presidential election.

Barnier held "talks about talks" with May's Brexit advisor Olly Robbins and British EU Ambassador Tim Barrow in Brussels on Monday but they failed to agree on a date for the negotiations to begin, an EU official said.

Mrs May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result and on Monday faced her MPs and vowed to govern.

May's spokesman said the prime minister, who in March set Britain on a two-year countdown to leaving the EU that included a clean break with the bloc's single market and customs union, was not changing her position on what she wants from Brussels.

The PM has rejected claims the deal would undermine its duty to be impartial in Northern Ireland.

Under the proposed deal, the DUP is expected to pass the Queen's Speech and budgets in exchange for Tory concessions.

Since last week's general election, Mrs May has spent much of her time talking about Northern Ireland and Thursday will be no different.

They are meeting to continue discussions aimed at restoring the power-sharing Executive in Northern Ireland.

A deal between the government and the Democratic Unionist party will not be announced on Wednesday because of the calamitous fire that engulfed a tower block in west London. They resumed as Sinn Fein's seven abstentionist MPs - who could bring Labour's Jeremy Corbyn closer to a Commons majority if they wished - arrived in London while other MPs, including those of the DUP, were sworn in. "There's a lot of anxiety", Sinn Fein MP Michelle Glidernew told Agence France-Presse.

"It's passing quicker than anyone believes..."

The Belgian MEP tweeted: 'We need to start the negotiations.

The European Parliament's Brexit negotiator, Guy Verhofstadt, also expressed his frustration.

May took up her familiar refrain, arguing the deal is vital to "give the stability to the UK Government that I think is necessary at this time".

He also said that he wanted to take the opportunity to "ensure that a spotlight is shone on [the DUP's] LGBT rights record here".

"We remain fully committed to making the institutions work", she said. As usual, Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is calling for more nationwide involvement in the actual Brexit talks.

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