Ireland’s prime minister warns Theresa May over deal with DUP

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the arrangement must not jeopardise the Good Friday agreement

Jon Stone
Political Correspondent
Sunday 11 June 2017 14:35
General election 2017: Irish PM warns May about deal with the DUP

Ireland’s Prime Minister has issued a warning to Theresa May over her plans to do a deal with the DUP to prop up a Tory minority government.

Enda Kenny, who has been Taoiseach since 2011, said he had indicated his “concern” to the Prime Minister over the plan.

Mr Kenny suggested that the arrangement, if poorly handled, could jeopardise the peace process in Northern Ireland.

He also raised concerns about the lack of a nationalist voice in favour of a united Ireland at Westminster – where the SDLP is now wiped out and Sinn Fein does not take its seats on principle.

He tweeted on Sunday: “Spoke with Prime Minister May – indicated my concern that nothing should happen to put Good Friday agreement at risk, and [the] absence of nationalist voice in Westminster.”

The DUP is the biggest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and is currently engaged in a negotiations after the collapse of the power-sharing administration that runs the Northern Ireland Executive.

Mr Kenny is the outgoing Taoiseach and will soon be replaced by Ireland’s Taoiseach-elect Leo Varadkar, who won a Fine Gael internal party election earlier this month. Mr Varadkar is set to be confirmed by the Irish parliament, the Dáil, in the coming week.

Who are the DUP?

The Conservatives are currently in negotiations with the DUP to prop up a minority government with a supply-and-confidence arrangement.

Under such a deal the Tories would give the DUP concessions in exchange for them passing the Queen’s Speech and budgets.

The Conservatives will be reliant on DUP support to pass anything through Parliament, giving them an effective veto.

There are concerns that such concessions could be related to the political crisis in Stormont, where the British government is supposed to be a neutral broker between the unionist and nationalist sides.

The deal comes after voters unexpectedly rejected the Conservatives at the general election, denying Ms May a majority in the House of Commons and defying most pollsters’ expectations.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments