May Closes In on Deal with DUP Before U.K. Parliament VotesBy and
U.K. premier seeking to seal accord before votes this week
Accord may be announced before lunchtime Monday, BBC says
U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May is resuming discussions with the Democratic Unionists as she aims to nail down an agreement with the Northern Irish party to ensure her Conservatives keep a grip on power.
“We’re back in London again and my hope is that we will be able to finalize the deal between ourselves and the Conservative Party,” DUP leader Arlene Foster said in an interview broadcast on Sky television on Monday. Foster arrived at May’s Downing Street residence, where she posed with the premier, at about 10:40 a.m. in London.
Read more: Three Charts Show Why DUP Needs Soft Brexit
Shorn of her majority in this month’s general election, May needs the support of the DUP’s 10 lawmakers to be able to pass legislation through Parliament. The negotiations have centered on extra money for Northern Ireland and plans for the U.K.’s exit from the European Union. The two parties failed to reach an agreement before last week’s Queen’s Speech, in which the premier outlined a pared-down two-year program for government.
May is hoping to wrap up the DUP agreement early this week because she faces votes on her program and any amendments on Wednesday and Thursday. The legislation planned by her Conservatives includes eight Brexit bills on topics ranging from agriculture and fisheries to nuclear cooperation and immigration. An accord is expected by lunchtime on Monday, the BBC reported.
Later on Monday, May will also publish details on how she intends to protect the rights of 3.2 million EU nationals residing in Britain once the U.K. has left the bloc in 2019. She drew a tepid reaction from fellow EU leaders last week when she sketched out the plans at a meeting in Brussels.