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Theresa May 'confident' of getting the queen's speech through House of Commons with or without DUP deal

Britain's Queen Elizabeth delivering the queen's speech during the state opening of Parliament

THERESA May is "confident" of getting the queen's speech through the House of Commons whether or not a deal is reached with the DUP by the time of the state opening of Parliament on June 21.

Talks with the DUP on a deal to shore up a minority Conservative administration are said to be "progressing well" and the parties have reached "broad agreement" on the principles of the speech, which will set out the government's legislative programme for the coming year, according to a senior Conservative source.

But the source confirmed there was no need for a deal on a so-called "confidence and supply" arrangement to be sealed in order to press ahead with the speech, and said Mrs May wanted the government to "get on with its business".

"Talks with the DUP have been progressing well and there is broad agreement on the principles of the queen's speech," said the source.

"Both parties are committed to strengthening the Union, combating terrorism, delivering Brexit and delivering prosperity across the whole country.

"However, while talks are ongoing it is important the government gets on with its business and we are confident there will be sufficient support across the House for passing the queen's speech."

The decision to announce a new date for the speech, two days later than its scheduled date of June 19, was made after Mrs May's regular audience with Britain's queen on Wednesday.

Tories have made clear since last week's election that their discussions with the DUP revolve around assurances of support in key Commons votes, rather than a full coalition.

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