DUP talks not going as 'expected' and deal 'not imminent'

Theresa May makes a statement in Downing Street after an audience with Queen

Referring to reports that the DUP has asked for significant investment in health and infrastructure in Northern Ireland as part of a parliamentary deal, Mr Eastwood said any money secured is for the whole of the region.

While the DUP has historically voted with Conservatives in a majority of divisions, party sources indicate that the support of its 10 MPs should not be "taken for granted".

Northern Ireland has been without a government since March after the DUP and Sinn Fein could not reach a power-sharing agreement following Assembly elections, with the latter refusing to enter Stormont with Arlene Foster as first minister.

The chances of the Democratic Unionist Party reaching a deal with the Conservatives to support Theresa May's minority government have been described as "very good".

Last night DUP unnamed sources warned that the party can not be "taken for granted", the BBC report said.

"The election result was not the one I hoped for, but this government will respond with humility and resolve to the message the electorate sent", May said in a statement.

The DUP's deal to prop up the Tories at Westminster is also likely to be discussed at Downing Street.

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Among the many experts who criticised the proposed deal was former prime minister John Major, who was quoted by the BBC as saying he understands why the Tories want to shore up the parliamentary position, but "a fundamental part of the peace process in Northern Ireland is that the United Kingdom government needs to remain impartial".

Party sources warned that the DUP "can't be taken for granted" and urged ministers to put "greater focus" on the talks to secure a majority.

"What we're seeing there is an attempt to provide more money for Northern Ireland and if I were the DUP, I'd do the same thing". "We will be able to provide you with a solution that will help you make the right choice".

Together, we've gone far.

"Talks are ongoing with the DUP and we continue to work towards a confidence and supply arrangement", the source said, adding that the parties had shared objectives on issues like Brexit, fighting terrorism and spreading prosperity.

"We are seriously concerned given the time-frame we are operating here, given the lack of any visibility in terms of the deal being negotiated between the DUP and British government, time is fast running out on this process".

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