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Latest update : 2017-06-12

Northern Ireland's DUP 'are getting a stranglehold on the UK government'

Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff to Tony Blair and former UK chief government negotiator on Northern Ireland, gave FRANCE 24 his reaction to the hung parliament in the United Kingdom and the prospect of Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party being kingmaker in Westminster. The DUP "are getting a stranglehold on the government", he told Eve Irvine.

She gambled. She lost. Conservative Prime Minister Theresa May no longer has a majority in parliament and had to turn to the Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland for help. The DUP wanted Brexit, but a softer one than May was pushing for, putting negotiations concerning the UK’s departure from the EU into futher difficulty.

Having the DUP in power in Westminster also raises concerns about the peace process in Northern Ireland, says Jonathan Powell, former chief of staff for Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair. Powell worked directly in the peace process negotiations in Northern Ireland.

Jonathan Powell also worked as Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron's special envoy to Libya. Today he is the Director and founder of Inter Mediate, a charity that works on conflict resolution through dialogue and mediation, and also Co-Chair of Brexit Exchange, a group recently set up to provide international dialogue among businesses as the UK prepares to leave the bloc.

By Eve IRVINE

Archives

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2018-02-14 Americas

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2018-02-10 Africa

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2018-02-07 Iran

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