Northern Ireland's DUP says talks with Conservatives to continue in London

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May and her husband Phillip arrive at a church in Sonning Britain

The "supply and confidence" deal would see the DUP back the Conservatives in votes on the Budget and confidence motions.

Foster tweeted afterward that "discussions are going well with the government and we hope soon to be able to bring this work to a successful conclusion". Thus we must begin this negotiation.

After House Speaker John Bercow was re-elected without challenge, a chastened May quipped: "At least someone got a landslide".

May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result after calling a vote three years early in the hope of bolstering her slim majority, only to actually lose seats.

Labour's unexpectedly strong second-place showing has thrown national politics into disarray.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn countered with a bit of previously unforeseen swagger, wearing a huge red rose - his party's symbol - in his lapel as he sparred with May.

"We've already heard some of the things that have been asked for, issues that have been put to bed a long time ago are now raising their head again".

May is due to travel to Paris later on Tuesday to meet with French President Emmanuel Macron but a representative for her Conservatives will continue the talks with the DUP, the source said.

May is under pressure to take on a more cross-party approach to Brexit talks.

It is thought Mrs Foster, despite being a Brexit supporter, could seek assurances from Mrs May that she will pursue a softer exit from the European Union, given Northern Ireland's 56% Remain vote and the DUP's desire not to see a return to a hard border with Ireland.

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Even the idea of an alliance is complicated, however.

"A fundamental part of that peace process is that the United Kingdom government needs to be impartial between all the competing interests in Northern Ireland", Major said.

Foster's rivals in Northern Ireland, such as Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams, have objected.

Several Conservative and other leaders have cautioned against the coalition since it would compromise London's neutral position between the contending groups in Northern Ireland - the Republicans and Unionists - and adversely hit the Good Friday Agreement.

The stakes for May are high.

Talks with the DUP to secure her government broke up on Tuesday night without an agreement, but Mrs May said the discussions had been "productive".

Nevertheless, it illustrated the challenge May will face in the remaining days before the European Union divorce talks begin: finding a position that satisfies both pro-European and eurosceptic factions of her party if she wants to remain in power.

European Union leaders have voiced growing impatience to start Brexit negotiations, which have already been delayed by the parliamentary election - and on which the clock is ticking.

"Combined with the fact Article 50 was triggered on an arbitrary date, starting the clock on Brexit without a proper plan, it is clear that bold measures are needed to ensure we negotiate the best possible Brexit deal".

"My preoccupation is that time is passing - it's passing quicker than anyone believes - because the subjects we need to deal with are extraordinarily complex from a technical, judicial and financial point of view".

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