UK Government Defends DUP Deal Amid Accusations Of Bias

Arlene Foster

May is holding talks Thursday with other Northern Ireland political parties amid warnings the expected DUP deal will undermine the peace process.

John Major said he had serious doubts about a proposed tie-up the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), which is traditionally associated with the protestant side of the sectarian divide in Northern Ireland.

The Conservative source said talks with the small Northern Irish party were progressing well as meetings in Downing Street with all of the British province's main political leaders got underway.

Mrs May needs the support of the DUP's ten MPs to give her a majority in Parliament.

The Conservatives and DUP are now still continuing talks in order to secure a deal, although reportedly only minor details remain to be ironed out.

"The risk is that Northern Ireland continues to fail to find solutions, and potentially the peace process unwinds", he told AFP.

DUP leader Arlene Foster, who met Mrs May in No 10 on Tuesday, is understood to have returned to Northern Ireland leaving her deputy Nigel Dodds to represent the party at Thursday's meeting.

"The form of the DUP in the past in the past, and the type of policies that they have put forward, the type of policies that they have pursued with the Tories in the past, are very very concerning", Pearse Doherty, a Sinn Fein lawmaker in the Irish parliament, said.


If the parties can not agree a deal, then devolution will be suspended and the Northern Irish assembly's powers returned to the United Kingdom government.

Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance have all made clear Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire can not chair the ongoing process to restore powersharing at Stormont due to their perception he has a conflict of interest.

"We have worked as a party with the DUP before and those are productive talks".

In a statement to reporters outside afterwards, Mr Adams said: "We told her very directly that she was in breach of the Good Friday Agreement, and we itemised those matters in which she was in default in relation to that agreement".

"They have turned a blind eye to the disruptive actions of the DUP over a long time", he said.

Northern Ireland voted by a narrow margin to remain in the European Union.

Restoring devolved government in Belfast could protect Northern Ireland "from the worst effects of that arrangement", she said.

London, Belfast, Dublin and Brussels all want to keep the border open, but no agreement has been reached.

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