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DUP hoping to conclude deal with May as soon as possible

DUP hoping to conclude deal with May as soon as possible

Meanwhile, the DUP will resume negotiations with the Conservative Party in London on supporting a Tory minority government.

The failure of the Irish Government to fulfil its obligations as a co-guarantor for the Good Friday Agreement is a national scandal, the South Antrim MLA said.

"We made the case to her that we would oppose any deal that undermined the Good Friday Agreement", he said.

Speaking in Downing Street alongside Mr Varadka, Mrs May dismissed these concerns as she claimed her government "remains absolutely steadfast" in its commitment to upholding the Good Friday Agreement.

A DUP source confirmed negotiations were "ongoing" and said they were looking to deliver "a more compassionate style of government for the whole of the UK".

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.

The comments were seen as a coded reference to the party's opposition to scrapping the "triple lock" on pensions and means testing the winter fuel allowance - both of which were in the Conservative manifesto.

Sinn Féin's Northern Ireland leader Michelle O'Neill said that on Brexit the Sinn Féin call for special designated status for Northern Ireland within the European Union was "building up traction" across Europe. It has also called for an end to the so-called "bedroom tax".

The parties have until 29 June to reach agreement and have been warned that if they cannot, direct rule could follow.

Mr Coveney, who is meeting the EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier in Luxembourg on Tuesday, said it was vital that the Executive be restored not only for politics in Northern Ireland but to ensure the North has a voice at the Brexit negotiations.

"Having an executive up and running - an executive that can speak for both communities in Northern Ireland - would be a big advantage for Northern Ireland". "We have a system in this country, an electoral system, victor takes all".

"Instead, they want more money and to maintain free trade across northern and southern Ireland after Britain's exit from the EU', he declared".

"If the DUP really wants to go into the Executive, that party needs to decide whether it is now prepared to embrace a rights-based approach to government in the North". Would we then say they shouldn't be in government in the Republic?