Tory MPs Unimpressed By May’s DUP Negotiating Skills

Tory MPs expected the PM to have a deal in place with the DUP well before tomorrow’s Queen’s Speech, instead it has gone right to the wire. Nine days have passed since Downing Street erroneously announced a deal had been struck, only to have to clarify that it hadn’t. An announcement could finally come today, though there is growing unrest among Tory backbenchers about the way the negotiation has been handled…

By announcing from the offset that a deal would be made, Tory MPs believe the PM has allowed the DUP to hold her for ransom for all the bridges and roads they want, or else fail to reach a deal and look even more chaotic. Tory MPs say anyone with a basic understanding of Northern Ireland knows there is no way the DUP would bring down the government and allow Corbyn into Number 10. A formal deal they argue therefore isn’t a necessity, a Tory minority government would still be able to pass a Queen’s Speech without one. By putting all her cards on the table and pre-announcing her unequivocal desire for a deal before it had been negotiated, May handed the DUP all the negotiating power. As one Tory snarks, “Good thing we don’t have any other big negotiations coming up…”


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Peter Mandelson tells Emma Barnett…

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