Theresa May 'confident' she will get Queen's Speech through Commons

The state opening of the British parliament by Queen Elizabeth is to take place next Wednesday, two days later than scheduled, it was announced Thursday.

The announcement by Andrea Leadsom suggests that Prime Minister Theresa May and the Northern Ireland-based Democratic Unionist Party have struck an agreement or are close to one.

A senior Conservative source briefed journalists that there was "broad agreement on the principles of the Queen's Speech", which will set out a slimmed-down programme for government following the failure to secure a majority last week.

"The next few weeks represent a real opportunity for everyone in Northern Ireland to heed the will of the people and capitalize on the opportunities that lie ahead for everyone", Foster wrote in a Belfast Telegraph article on Monday.

Meanwhile, the EU and United Kingdom government confirmed that Brexit Secretary David Davis and European Commission chief negotiator Michel Barnier will meet in Brussels on Monday.

The Prime Minister was meeting separately with representatives of Sinn Fein, the Ulster Unionists, the SDLP and the Alliance Party, as well as the DUP, in Downing Street in an attempt to allay growing concerns.

The 1998 Good Friday Agreement, also referred to as the Belfast Agreement, requires the United Kingdom and Irish Governments to show "rigorous impartiality" as they deal with the different political groups in Northern Ireland.

The Government believes it has enough support in the House of Commons to pass the Queen's Speech following talks with the DUP.

Northern Ireland Secretary of State James Brokenshire said an agreement to restore the power-sharing government in Stormont must be reached by the 29 June deadline or direct rule will be restored.

The source added: "While talks are ongoing, it's 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".

It is expected that a "confidence and supply" arrangement will be agreed, and the DUP is likely to vote with the Conservatives on issues such as the Budget and Brexit in return for policies, such as an increase in funding for the province.