No deal yet between UK Conservatives and DUP to back PM May

Downing Street has insisted that Thursday's general election - which Theresa May had hoped would strengthen her mandate for negotiations but ended up creating a hung Parliament - will not change the approach to Brexit it set out previous year.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who met Mrs May in No 10 on Tuesday, is understood to have returned to Northern Ireland leaving her deputy Nigel Dodds to represent the party at Thursday's meeting.

Before travelling to the French capital, Mrs May had been leading the talks with the DUP.

Prime Minister Theresa May invoked Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, which started the clock on Brexit, in March.

May has dismissed calls to resign following the dismal election result and on Monday faced her MPs and vowed to govern. But a lackluster campaign saw her high approval rating slip away and support for her "hard Brexit" strategy - pulling out of the European single market and customs union - now hangs in the balance.

Guy Verhofstadt, the European Parliament's chief Brexit negotiator, warned Tuesday that "the current uncertainty can not continue" and on Wednesday issued five "pressing questions" on Twitter.

"It's unclear if the United Kingdom government will stick to the line that they had announced in the letter of the 29th of March or if they will change it... taking into account the outcome of the election". That's why we're ready to start very quickly.

And as protracted negotiations between the ruling Conservative Party and a small Northern Irish party remain unresolved, a meeting with another party from the province is set to add further confusion to proceedings.

Macron said during a press conference with May in Paris on Tuesday that "of course the door is always open as long as the negotiations on Brexit have not finished".

The DUP is believed to be more favourable to a "soft Brexit" that would keep Northern Ireland's border with the Republic of Ireland free-flowing. Without the DUP's support, May can not be sure of doing so.

"The last thing anybody wishes to see is one or other of the communities so aggrieved that the hard men, who are still there lurking in the corners of the communities, decide they wish to return to some form of violence".

The prospect of a deal has caused consternation in Dublin, with Irish premier Enda Kenny warning such an alliance could upset Northern Ireland's fragile peace. However, since Conservative's disastrous night last week, the odds for Davis himself have been slashed to become the new Prime Minister.

"People knew that we were abstentionist MPs, they have elected us to represent them but not to take our seats".

Sinn Fein's Michelle Gildernew (Fermanagh and South Tyrone) raised concern about an alliance, saying: "This new arrangement is very unsettling and people are concerned and wary of what it may mean, and what promises will be given or promises extracted from Theresa May".

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