UK's May holds alliance talks with NIreland party chief

At just eight seats shy of a majority, May turned to the right-wing Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland, which won 10 seats in Westminster.

In a meeting lasting around 90 minutes, the British prime minister updated her top team on the on-going discussions with the Unionists to secure an agreement propping up the Tory minority government.

Any hope for a continuation of Tory rule looks set to depend on a consensus with the Northern Irish party, following last week's General Election result in which the Conservatives dramatically lost their majority.

An agreement between the Tories and DUP is thought to be close, with Mrs May saying the talks had been "productive" and emphasising the need for "stability" in government.

"We don't adopt their views, we don't adopt their policies", he said.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn countered with a bit of previously unseen swagger, wearing a huge red rose - his party's symbol - in his lapel as he sparred with May and taunted her about the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming vote on her legislative program, known as the Queen's Speech.

The vote has nonetheless been a jolt to the country's exit plans, raising the fears of die-hard Brexiteers, the hopes of those favoring a more limited separation from European allies and the question of whether May will be around to steer the course she's charted toward a sharp rupture.

Video: Who is the DUP leader, Arlene Foster? That means the DUP would back the government on confidence motions and budget votes, but it's not a coalition government or a broader pact.

The DUP leader is nearly certain to ask for greater investment in Northern Ireland as the price of a deal.

Former British prime minister John Major said the support of the DUP could pitch the province back into turmoil by persuading "hard men" on both sides of the divide to return to violence.

However, many Tories are adamant that she can not lead them into another general election after her disastrous showing last week at the ballot box.

"The people of Britain have had a bellyful of promises and politicking", he wrote. "There's a lot of anxiety", Sinn Fein MP Michelle Gildernew told AFP.

The talks with the DUP follow May's apology to Conservative rank-and-file lawmakers in a meeting Monday which signaled she would be more open to consultation, particularly with business leaders demanding answers about the details on Britain's departure from the European Union.

But since coming to power three weeks after the shock vote to leave the European Union, the prime minister has advocated a hard Brexit, which would entail Britain leaving the single market and cutting immigration from the bloc.

"My preoccupation is that time is passing - it's passing quicker than anyone believes. We are ready as soon as the United Kingdom itself is ready".

"I said during the election campaign that if re-elected I would intend to serve a full term", she told reporters in No 10.

The minister in charge of the Brexit process, David Davis, has insisted that the government must be prepared to walk away if it can not get what it wants.

May is due to begin Brexit negotiations with Brussels on June 19 in a weaker position than before the June election. "The current uncertainty can not continue".

Or a Tory Party which offers no real plan for Brexit.

The draft law would empower Europe to decide if post-Brexit London has the right to host financial market "clearing houses" that deal in euros, the EU's single currency.

May will then travel to Paris for a working dinner with French President Emmanuel Macron before the two leaders attend a friendly football match between England and France at the national stadium in Paris.

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