UK Government Defends DUP Deal Amid Accusations Of Bias

These concerns were echoed by former prime minister Sir John Major who has warned that the Government will compromise its stated impartiality if it enters a confidence and supply deal with the DUP at Westminster.A deal between the DUP and the Conservatives was delayed amid the response to the London fire tragedy.Both the Tories and the DUP have said they believe a deal is in sight.Labour’s shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, said the prospect of a deal between the Conservatives and the DUP was “worrying”, telling the BBC: “It would create a lot of instability in terms of the peace process in Northern Ireland”.One of the most pressing issues facing Mrs May is the process of leaving the European Union, with Brexit talks set to start in Brussels on Monday.The Tory leader has been fighting to cling on in Downing Street after a disastrous general election which saw her lose her Commons majority.Apart from legal wrangling, though, there is also concern that the unionists might seek to extract concessions from the Conservatives that would immediately exacerbate sectarian tensions in Northern Ireland.The prime minister was less enthusiastic about meeting the same parties a month ago when she jetted into the north for a flying visit to Balmoral Show and a entirely coincidental meeting with Arlene Foster, the party leader who just weeks later would provide the prop for Mrs May’s precarious minority government.The delegation of Sinn Féin – whose seven MPs refuse to take their seats at Westminster – is expected to include Mrs O’Neill, party president Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald, the party’s deputy leader and a member of the Irish parliament.Sinn Fein, SDLP and the cross-community Alliance have all also already made clear that Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire can not chair the ongoing process to restore power-sharing at Stormont due to a perceived conflict of interest caused by the deal.Things have moved on a bit since then with Brexit, but we do know they’re looking at trying to lower the cost to the Northern Ireland Executive of any move on corporation tax.”We are steadfast in our commitment to devolution and are ready to work with all willing partners to restore the devolved institutions in the interests of all our people”.”Bringing stability to the United Kingdom government in and around issues around Brexit, obviously around counter-terrorism, and then doing what’s right for Northern Ireland in respect of economic matters”.Discussions broke up on Tuesday night without an agreement, but Mrs May said that they had been “productive”.