While talks were ongoing, former Conservative Prime Minister John Major told BBC Radio 4’s World at One that he was “wary” and “dubious” about the proposed Tory-DUP deal.
Major said he feared the pact could undermine the fragile Northern Ireland peace process, which he was instrumental in brokering in its early days.
“My main concern is the peace process,” he said.
“A fundamental part of that peace process is that the UK government needs to be impartial between all the competing interests in Northern Ireland. And the danger is that however much any government tries, they will not be seen to be impartial if they are locked into a parliamentary deal at Westminster with one of the Northern Ireland parties.”
He also called on May’s government to consult more with other parties ahead of upcoming Brexit talks, which are due to start on June 19 but, like the Queen’s speech, could face delays amid the ongoing political upheaval in the U.K.
May is expected to have to agreed concessions in exchange for the DUP’s support in no-confidence and government-financing votes, which are essential to keeping a minority government in power. However, Major, as with many other critics of the deal, argued that other devolved governments in the U.K. would be angered by a promise of extra funding for Northern Ireland.