Varadkar 'reassured' after meeting May

Speaking after a meeting with the new Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadka, Theresa May stated that any arrangement with the Northern Irish party would be "made public" so that "people can see exactly what that is based on".

"It does, I think, underline and emphasise the strength and the closeness of the relationship that exists between our two countries", he said.

He also offered condolences on behalf of the Irish people and the Irish government to all those affected by the recent tragedies in London.

"We passed the Grenfell Tower on the way today and saw the destruction that occurred there and even this morning, as you know, there's been another atrocity up in Finsbury Park, on top of what's happened at London Bridge".

Any deal to salvage powersharing at Stormont should involve Northern Ireland's five main parties, Simon Coveney has said.

Mr Varadkar seemed disappointed to learn the scene was not "actually" filmed there.

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There is a tension in preparing the legislative programme for the next two years between a threadbare speech that is sufficiently palatable to get through Parliament without the government's authority being called into question, and a speech that looks as though the government actually has a sense of objective. "Negotiations haven't proceeded in the way that we would have expected".

"That is why we are putting forward a Queen's Speech which the whole House of Commons can get behind: securing a Brexit deal that works for every part of our country, strengthening our economy, making our society fairer, and keeping our country safe".

In a joint press conference at Downing Street, he said as co-guarantors of the Good Friday Agreement, the British and Irish governments should not be too close to unionism or nationalism.

The case, which could be heard in the supreme court because of its constitutional significance, follows warnings by politicians from all sides that the deal risks undermining the peace process in Northern Ireland.

"'As a United Kingdom government we remain absolutely steadfast in our commitment to the Belfast Agreement (and) its successor agreements". Other solutions to the customs and regulatory standards issues now being considered by negotiators include the extension of trusted trader schemes, in which customs authorities give special recognition to businesses that meet specific levels of competence, professional standards and record keeping in exchange for smoother customs checks.

"We're having good constructive discussions and I'm confident that we'll reach a sensible agreement", Grayling told BBC radio.

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