Queen to outline UK government agenda in scaled-down speech

Queen to outline UK government agenda in scaled-down speech”

Any deal to salvage powersharing at Stormont should involve Northern Ireland's five main parties, Simon Coveney has said.

"It is quite clear that the DUP and Tory Party aren't quite sure what they are doing, but they need to get on with it because it is affecting the process here".

British Prime Minister Theresa May promised today to listen more to businesses' concerns about Brexit as Queen Elizabeth formally opened parliament by announcing the government's programme for the next two years.

The Queen's Speech comes at a time when May's premiership has become vulnerable and the country's future uncertain, with negotiations over Britain's departure from the European Union having only just begun. "Determined to deliver the best Brexit deal", she said.

The Democratic Unionists will only strike a parliamentary deal with the Conservative Party if it delivers tangible benefits for Northern Ireland in terms of jobs and investment in health and education, a senior member has insisted.

Amid reports the talks between the DUP and Tories stalled earlier in the week, Mr Hamilton said the two sides had been engaging well "over the last 24 hours".

But after a week of haggling following her election debacle she has chose to call the DUP's bluff, going ahead without a formal agreement with the Irish party.

Mrs May has rejected claims a deal with the DUP would undermine the Government's ability to act as an honest broker in talks on the restoration of devolved institutions and power-sharing in Northern Ireland.

For its part, the Dublin government - a member of the EU - is anxious by the adverse political and economic effects of May government's courting of the DUP and her negotiations to leave the union.

"Theresa May has no mandate for the direction she is taking the country".

"But the reality is you can't give more money to Northern Ireland and not trigger the Barnett formula, which would mean more money for Wales and Scotland".

As part of the negotiations, the DUP is also reported to be calling on the Treasury to scrap Air Passenger Duty (APD) in Northern Ireland.

The State Opening of Parliament, delayed by two days because of confusion caused by the inconclusive result of the June 8 election, took place without some of the traditional ceremony, with the Queen arriving by auto rather than carriage and doing without her state crown.

The Queen announced that the Great Repeal Bill would be introduced to convert all European Union laws into United Kingdom law, allowing the country to decide at a later date which to keep and which to scrap.

She said: "This suggestion that every single person who's a homosexual wants to change the definition of marriage is actually wrong".

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