Sunday 20 October 2019

DUP denies reports party is 'to be handed millions' to back May's Brexit deal

Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader Nigel Dodds, speaks to the media outside the Cabinet Office, in London, Britain March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) deputy leader Nigel Dodds, speaks to the media outside the Cabinet Office, in London, Britain March 15, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

The DUP has moved to squash speculation Northern Ireland could be offered extra cash by Theresa May's government in a bid to break the Brexit impasse.

Deputy leader Nigel Dodds MP said on Friday talks between the party and senior cabinet ministers had been "constructive" and that the Government was focused on resolving the Irish backstop issue.

He met with chancellor Philip Hammond, chief whip Julian Smith and Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

The presence of Mr Hammond prompted speculation that Northern Ireland could be given a further funding boost in exchange for the DUP supporting the Prime Minister's Brexit deal.

However, Mr Dodds said "cash" was not discussed during the meetings.

Securing the support of the Northern Irish MPs is viewed as crucial to the government's hopes of winning the third vote on the Brexit withdrawal agreement next week.

On Saturday, a DUP spokesman said: “We are in discussions with the Government to ensure Northern Ireland is not separated out from the rest of the United Kingdom as we leave the European Union. Contrary to some reports we are not discussing cash.

"There are still issues to be addressed in our discussions.”

The DUP sceured more than £1billion in extra funding for the province in exchange for DUP MP's support in the Commons as part of a confidence and supply arrangement struck after the 2017 general election

That agreement comes to an end in June.

The Daily Telegraph reports ministers are "increasingly optimistic" that the DUP can be persuaded to back the deal.

The newspaper reports the negotiations are focused on winning legal reassurances that Northern Ireland would not diverge from the rest of the UK, in the event that the Irish backstop kicked in.

Belfast Telegraph

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