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An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

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

2017-10-17 Americas

'Trump is the most powerful unifying force the Democrats could imagine'

Is Donald Trump falling apart? US media reports in recent weeks have portrayed a president who's losing the plot. Nine months into his presidency, polls show Trump is deeply...

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2017-10-13 Business

IMF chief: 'It’s the first time in a decade that we have such a strong recovery'

Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), spoke to FRANCE 24 during the annual meetings of her institution and the World Bank in Washington....

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2017-10-11 nuclear Iran

Iran nuclear deal: What happens if Trump decertifies agreement?

Trita Parsi is a Middle East foreign policy expert. He is also the founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, which advised both the Obama administration and...

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2017-10-05 Middle East

Turkish FM: 'Barzani is risking the future of the Kurds in Iraq'

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said the Kurdish authorities' decision to hold a referendum on independence was a "grave mistake" that...

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2017-10-05 Europe

'The refugee crisis was for Europe what 9/11 was for the United States'

Ivan Krastev is the chairman of the Centre for Liberal Strategies in Sofia, and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. He is an expert on European...

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