Queen's Speech to go ahead with or without DUP deal

The government has announced that the Queen's Speech will take place on Wednesday June 21, two days later than originally planned. The delay comes as the United Kingdom grapples with political uncertainty after last week's inconclusive election cast doubt on Prime Minister Theresa May's ability to stay in office or govern effectively.

Government insiders have also suggested it is possible to give extra investment to Northern Ireland without it affecting the formula for funding the rest of the United Kingdom, indicating a potential investment windfall for Ulster unionists as part of any deal.

DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, in Downing Street for talks with Mrs May on restoring powersharing in Northern Ireland, refused to be drawn on how the negotiations were progressing.

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It was delayed after May's Conservatives lost their majority in the Commons in the June 8 election.

Sources suggested that while the slimmed-down programme of bills had been agreed, there remains sticking points in inter-party talks for a "confidence and supply" deal to keep May in power.

It was pushed back from its original date of Monday to give more time fort the PM to firm up her shaky premiership, and she signalled she is "confident" of getting the Queen's Speech through the Commons.

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The Conservative source said both parties were "committed to strengthening the union, combating terrorism, delivering Brexit and delivering prosperity across the whole country", and that Northern Ireland would get a funding boost.

The Sinn Féin leader, Gerry Adams, said he believed the deal would be in breach of the Good Friday agreement because it would undermine the government's role as a neutral convener.

The source said: "Talks are progressing well and there's agreement on the principles of the Queen's speech".

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