Talks between May and DUP continue in effort to form government

Former DUP adviser says John Major’s fears for peace process are not justified

Leader of the DUP Arlene Foster and Deputy Leader Nigel Dodds stand on the steps of 10 Downing Street before talks with Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May. Photograph: Phil Noble/Reuters

Talks are continuing between the DUP and British prime minister Theresa May in an effort to reach an agreement to support a new Conservative government at Westminster.

The talks come amid rising fears in Dublin about the influence the DUP will have on the British government’s approach to the North.

Officials and senior political sources confirm that there is growing apprehension about the DUP's new-found power in relation to Stormont.

They pointed to comments by the former British prime minister John Major yesterday, who warned about the dangers for the peace process of a deal with the DUP.


A former DUP adviser, Richard Bullick, said Mr Major's fears for the peace process were "over wrought" and were not justified.

Mr Bullick, who was a senior adviser to Peter Robinson when he was DUP leader, said he did not think that an agreement will be reached today.

“The DUP is in no rush, they will use time to their advantage.”

When asked if the DUP will be able to influence the Brexit negotiations, Mr Bullick said: “the reality is we all live on an island and everyone has a responsibility to make sure the outcome is as best as possible.”

He added that talk of a hard or soft Brexit was difficult as people wanted the best of both worlds.