The newly-appointed Environment Secretary said the European Union referendum result must be honoured but it is “really important” that the exit package is “in the interests of the whole country”.
“The UK Government is offering whatever support we can, working alongside the Irish government, as appropriate, honouring our respective commitments in the Belfast Agreement to serve the interests of the whole community in Northern Ireland”, he said.
The Tories and the DUP are considering a “confidence and supply” arrangement which would see the Northern Irish party back the Government to get its Budget through and on confidence motions.
Arlene Foster says she hopes to conclude the talks soon.
Major’s warning comes amid ongoing political turmoil in Northern Ireland.
Leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Arlene Foster and Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds arrive at 10 Downing Street in London, for a meeting with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, Tuesday June 13, 2017.
“We were often in a situation where the other parties, particularly in the case of Sinn Fein and DUP – who are by far the two biggest parties now, even more than they were in my time – they’d never talked to each other”, he said.
The Northern Irish party’s stance on equality has been under scrutiny this week, as numerous MPs that Theresa May will be relying on harbour actively homophobic views.
An organiser for the Women’s March said the event was “for self-defining women, kids, non-binary people and all who love and support us”. “I hope that we can reach a conclusion sooner than later“.
In the talks to restore the assembly, which began on Monday, issues such as the introduction of an Irish language act, supported by Sinn Féin but opposed by the DUP, could also prove crucial.
Meanwhile, the chief European Union negotiator has told the Financial Times that Britain that the clock was ticking on Brexit talks, and that Britain should be wary of further delays.
May headed to Paris later Tuesday to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron, and the two leaders attended a friendly football match between France and England.
Most importantly, with Northern Ireland having voted to remain in the European Union while the United Kingdom as a whole voted out, the DUP has won agreement that will ensure a “frictionless” border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
“There’s been a lot of commentary around the issues that we are talking about and it won’t surprise anyone that we are talking about matters that pertain, of course, to the nation generally”, she said.
“We have worked as a party with the DUP before and those are productive talks”.
Michelle O’Neill, Sinn Fein’s leader in Northern Ireland, said any deal between the Conservatives and the DUP “cannot be allowed to undermine” the province’s peace accords.
The Commission has stated that one of its priorities in Brexit talks was the Good Friday Agreement, which brought an end to violence and terrorism in Northern Ireland in the late 1990s.
Mrs O’Neill added: “Progress will not come from a deal between the DUP and Tories to prop up a Government in Westminster with an austerity and Brexit agenda but through the full implementation of the agreements and an Executive that respects the rights and delivers for all in society”.