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'Good progress' in DUP talks - Gavin

By Pete Madeley | General Election 2017 | Published:

Gavin Williamson says 'good progress' is being made in talks with the DUP as he insisted the Conservatives were '100 per cent ready' to get on with the job of negotiating Britain's exit from the EU.

Gavin Williamson

The Government Chief Whip has played a leading role in negotiations with the DUP and other Northern Irish parties aimed at getting enough backing for Theresa May to form a working majority in the House of Commons.

Talks between the Tories and the DUP are set to continue next week in the lead up to the State Opening of Parliament, which has been put back until Wednesday.

Mr Williamson also insisted his party was fully prepared for the start of the Brexit negotiations with the European Union that are scheduled for Monday.

On the advancement of talks with the DUP, South Staffordshire MP Mr Williamson said: "Good progress is being made in discussing the substantive issues surrounding any potential agreement.

"What we are trying to do is obviously of great importance and is not to be rushed. We want to make sure any agreement is robust enough to last for the full term of Parliament.

"It has been encouraged by the fact that everyone involved in the talks is taking a positive approach in looking at practical ways to come to an agreement over the governing of the country.

Mr Williamson said of the upcoming Brexit negotiations: "Labour has attempted to block the wishes of the British people every step of the way.

"I want to see us deliver Brexit and we are 100 per cent ready to get on with the job."

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Brexit Secretary David Davis and EU negotiator Michel Barnier confirmed the Brexit talks would start on Monday following preliminary talks between officials in Brussels.

Key issues on the table include the status of EU nationals and Britons living elsewhere in the EU, the size of any divorce bill and future trading conditions between the UK and the bloc.

There have been calls for a new cross-party approach to the talks in the wake of the General Election result, although Downing Street has insisted its strategy will not change.

Pete Madeley

By Pete Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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