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State Opening and Queen's Speech to take place next Wednesday

17 June 2017

The event had to be delayed as Theresa May didn't gain a majority in the general election, forcing the Conservatives into talks with the Democratic Unionist Party, so that they can form a viable government.

The Queen's Speech, which outlines the Government's policies for the parliamentary session, will take place on Wednesday 21 June.

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

He explained that the two parties are both committed to delivering Brexit, fighting terrorism, preserving the United Kingdom and boosting economic prosperity, giving a clue as to what will be included.

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The date of the Queen's Speech was not relevant to the talks, Dodds was quoted as saying.

Moving the speech will disturb the Queen's attendance at this year's Royal Ascot.

But Tories were unwilling to say what meetings are expected over the coming days.

But she has also forced a change in the Queen's diary as the Monarch had been due to attend Royal Ascot horse races on June 21.

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The talks were "productive", May told a news conference in Paris following a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron . The development comes after May sent her Chief Whip Gavin Williamson to Belfast for talks with the DUP after the election.

But with the address due to start at 11.30am she is likely to have ample time to take part in her traditional arrival ceremony, a carriage procession usually held in the early afternoon.

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.

Mrs Long added: "We have to be practical about these things".

Colum Eastwood, the leader of the nationalist SDLP, said the government needed to "prove to the rest of us that they are not under the thumb of the DUP".

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"I think one of the most shameful aspects of the whole Brexit process from the beginning to now has been the disregard shown by many for that peace process".