Belfast Telegraph

Arlene Foster urges PM to focus on positive Brexit and stability

The DUP leader has urged Theresa May to focus on ensuring a positive Brexit.

Arlene Foster acknowledged the "febrile" atmosphere at Westminster made it difficult but said it was important to bring stability and address the major issues.

Her party agreed a deal with the Conservatives in June whereby the DUP's 10 pro-Brexit MPs supported the minority Government on key issues like leaving the EU.

Mrs Foster said: "I think what Theresa May and her Government need to do now is to focus on the big issues of the day.

"That is why we got into this confidence and supply arrangement - to focus on our exit from the EU, to do that in a positive way, and to bring stability to the nation.

"It's so important that she focuses on the big issues and doesn't get thrown off. I know that's very difficult when there is so much noise going on, but that's exactly what she must do."

The Prime Minister is coping with ministerial resignations and a Westminster sexual harassment scandal amid the ongoing debate around Brexit.

Mrs May has been warned by a senior German MEP that talks on a trade deal with the EU may not be given the green light next month.

Her DUP counterpart has repeatedly criticised Jeremy Corbyn as beyond the political pale due to his past support for Irish republicans and said she was concerned about the impact of a Labour government on the peace process.

She told The House political magazine: "He would be very clearly partisan towards republicanism.

"It would be disastrous for Northern Ireland, because of his previous utterances in relation to Northern Ireland, and his support for the IRA at a time when nobody else was supporting the IRA."

Earlier this year Mr Corbyn said he had wanted the violence in Northern Ireland to stop but refused to single out the IRA for condemnation.

Following endless negotiations with Sinn Fein on re-forming Northern Ireland's stalled power-sharing government Mrs Foster said there had been a hardening of attitudes.

She claimed Sinn Fein wanted devolution on its terms.

"Do I think there will be devolution back? Yes I do.

"But it involves people compromising and bringing their own people to a place where they feel comfortable, and that sometimes takes a little longer," she said.

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