Northern Ireland news

Jeffrey Donaldson: DUP confident of deal with Tories as unpalatable policies 'fade into the background'

 Jeffery Donaldson of the DUP elected MP for Lagan Valley. Picture from Mal McCann.
Shaun Connolly, Press Association Political Correspondent

The DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson is confident that a deal with the Tories can be struck.

The MP said that the two parties were in broad agreement over Brexit on counter-terrorism.

He said that while his party had concerns "about some of their policies they talked about during the GE," he thought that they were seeing them "fade into the background" 

"We're not asking the Conservatives to take sides in the devolution debate in NI or be anything other than what they need to be, impartial," he added. 

First Secretary of State Damian Green said this morning that he believed it was still possible for the Tories to cut a deal with the Democratic Unionist Party.

The comments came after the DUP warned that Prime Minister Theresa May cannot take them for granted.

Mr Green, who is effectively deputy PM, told BBC Radio Four's Today programme: "There's still the possibility, there's every possibility, of a DUP deal. The talks have been taking place in a constructive way. Clearly, two political parties, we have some differences, but we have a lot in common.

"We're both unionist parties at our heart. We're both, obviously, very concerned with combating terrorism, we both have similar views about delivering a good Brexit for this country, and, obviously, we're both very, very concerned with the Irish border issue.

"All talks of this kind take a long time, they are still continuing."

A senior Conservative source declined to comment on BBC reports that the DUP is demanding £1 billion investment in the health service in Northern Ireland and a similar figure for infrastructure projects in return for a "confidence and supply" deal.

The party is also understood to be seeking a reduction in corporation tax, the scrapping of air passenger duty in Northern Ireland and city deals for local councils.

After the Tories' disastrous General Election showing saw the party lose its Commons majority, Mrs May sought a "confidence and supply" deal with the DUP to prop-up her minority administration.

But DUP sources have warned talks with the Tories "haven't proceeded in a way that the DUP would have expected" and a deal is "certainly not imminent".

The source added the Northern Irish party "can't be taken for granted".

A senior Conservative source declined to comment on BBC reports that the DUP is demanding £1 billion investment in the health service in Northern Ireland and a similar figure for infrastructure projects in return for a "confidence and supply" deal.

The party is also understood to be seeking a reduction in corporation tax, the scrapping of air passenger duty in Northern Ireland and city deals for local councils.

Northern Ireland news

Today's horoscope

Horoscope


See a different horoscope: