Theresa May challenges DUP to bring down the Government as talks drag on
Theresa May has effectively challenged the DUP to bring down her government as talks over a deal to prop up a minority Tory administration dragged on.
The Prime Minister has decided that the Queen's Speech will take place on 21 June - even if no agreement between the parties has been reached by then.
The talks are aimed at agreeing a so-called "confidence and supply" agreement, which would see the DUP back the Government on key Budget and confidence votes.
Downing Street insisted that the negotiations - which began on Monday - have been "very positive" but that government business could not be held up any longer by the ongoing impasse.
A senior Conservative source said a "broad agreement on the principles of the Queen's Speech" had been reached between the two parties.
"Both parties are committed to strengthening the union, combating terrorism, delivering Brexit and delivering prosperity across the whole of the country," the source said.
"However, while talks are ongoing it is important that the Government gets on with its business and we are confident there will be sufficient support across the House for passing a Queen's Speech."
One sticking point over the talks is thought to be whether or not any extra taxpayers' cash being spent in Northern Ireland will lead to more money for the Scottish and Welsh governments as well under the terms of the Barnett Formula.
However, DUP sources insist a deal could be reached before next Wednesday, meaning the party would have to vote for the Queen's Speech.
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