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Theresa May seeks deal with DUP


Theresa May seeks deal with DUP

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There’s no let up for Theresa May. Britain’s embattled leader hopes to hammer out a deal with the DUP’s leader Arlene Foster today to keep her Conservative Party in government.

Claiming 318 seats in last Thursday’s election, the Conservatives find themselves eight seats short of a majority and in need of the Democratic Unionist Party’s ten seats. But senior Tory figures say a formal coalition with the right-wing Northern Irish party, which opposes same-sex marriage and abortion, isn’t on the table. Instead, Defence Minister Michael Fallon said, the DUP will provide support “on the big things” like economic, security and Brexit-related legislation.

Even if Ms May strikes a deal with the DUP, her government will have a mere two-seat majority—that presupposes all Conservative lawmakers tow the party line. This vulnerability will have profound implications for the prime minister’s hard Brexit ambitions, which are opposed by a sizeable minority of Tory MPs. The prospect of an intra-party revolt is likely to soften her approach to Brexit, which she’s expected to foreshadow in her Queen’s Speech next week.

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But the prime minister may not last that long—she’s certainly unlikely to see out the year—leaving Brexit negotiations in the lurch.

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