DUP head arrives for talks with UK leader May

Brokenshire not keen on Stormont mediator move amid DUP deal criticism

Brokenshire not keen on Stormont mediator move amid DUP deal criticism

The Conservatives further pledged to "enhance" foreign office support for foreign direct investment into Northern Ireland and "ensure that Northern Ireland can receive a fair share both of national government contracts and of infrastructure investments".

The Government agreed to "examine seriously... adjustments to the Corporate Tax regime in Northern Ireland" and to "discuss with the DUP other tax changes that could encourage economic growth in Northern Ireland".

Indeed, having vanquished the UUP for daring to talk to Sinn Féin, the DUP soon went into government with its old enemy.

Earlier, Mr Brokenshire appeared to rule out an independent mediator to chair the Stormont talks.

"The danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they're locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties", he said.

They are adamant the United Kingdom government can no longer cast itself as a neutral facilitator in the process, given the Prime Minister's likely deal with the DUP.

Downing Street said that Mrs May had told Mr Kenny that the deal with the DUP "would provide stability and certainty for the United Kingdom going forward".

The dispute has prompted renewed calls for a chair from outside the United Kingdom and Ireland to be appointed.

In its statement, the firm said: "The shameful treatment of veterans and victims of the Troubles is inextricably intertwined and, if legacy issues in Northern Ireland are to be effectively remedied, they must be addressed in tandem".

Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew said the British government could not now be seen as an "honest broker" in the negotiations between her party and the DUP.

DUP leader Arlene Foster was criticized last week for meeting with members of another paramilitary organization, the Ulster Defence Association, that stands accused of organizing the murder of a political rival.

"I know their focus is on what's happening in London and it's very important to say that we don't believe that any deal between the DUP here and the English Tories will be good for the people here".

And a Downing Street source said the talks had been "constructive".

Mr Adams dismissed suggestions the republican party was no longer interested in getting a devolved administration back up and running in Belfast.

Northern Ireland has been without a powersharing executive since March and without a first and deputy first minister since January.

A major question mark hangs over the talks as a result of developments at Westminster.

Major warned that although Northern Ireland was a long way from returning to the violence that killed 3,600 people, he believed the peace process remained fragile almost two decades after a US -brokered 1998 peace agreement.

He added: "we look forward to this parliament, however short it may be", referring to speculation that the government would have to call an election long before its five-year term is up.

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