"Talks with the DUP are progressing well and there is broad agreement on the principles of the Queen's speech".
A deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party to prop up a minority government may not be reached by the time the Queen's Speech goes ahead next week, it has been revealed.
The state opening, a ceremony full of pomp in which the monarch reads out the Queen's Speech detailing the government's programme for the coming year, was due to take place on June 19.
"The UK Government is offering whatever support we can, working alongside the Irish government, as appropriate, honouring our respective commitments in the Belfast Agreement to serve the interests of the whole community in Northern Ireland", he said.
DUP talks: Theresa May arrives in Downing Street on Wednesday.
Brexit secretary David Davis will travel to the Belgian capital for talks with the EU's chief negotiator, Michel Barnier. The Conservatives are confident there will be enough support in the Commons to win the vote, the senior Tory added.
Mrs May was holding talks on Thursday with other Northern Ireland political parties amid warnings the expected DUP deal will undermine the peace process.
Following her meeting with Mrs May, Alliance Party leader Naomi Long said the PM had "sought to give us her reassurance on neutrality".
The deal between May and the DUP has yet to be formerly agreed, but media in London reported that the State Opening will go-ahead even if no deal has been signed between the two parties.
At the same time, Michelle O'Neill, the Sinn Fein leader in Stormont, made clear that an agreement on powersharing would require a substantial package of financial support for Northern Ireland from the UK Government.
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