Tim Farron on the Conservative/DUP deal

Tim Farron has responded to the deal between the DUP and the Conservatives. He said:

The public will not be DUPed by this shoddy little deal. The nasty party is back, propped up by the DUP.

While our schools are crumbling and our NHS is in crisis, Theresa May chooses to throw cash at ten MPs in a grubby attempt to keep her Cabinet squatting in No 10.

It would be better for the people of Northern Ireland for the DUP to buckle down and focus on the talks process to restore devolved Executive at Stormont, to bring the political stability that is needed for inward investment and growth, rather than demanding cash injections from the Treasury.

Theresa May must make all the details of this agreement public immediately, so we can judge for ourselves if she is acting in the best interests of the country or of her own party.


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  • Eddie Sammon 26th Jun '17 - 2:42pm

    I’m not comfortable with the cash bribe going to Northern Ireland, but this shows why in the next parliament the Lib Dems need to abandon the “no deals” pledge and negotiate better than last time.

  • Alan Depauw 26th Jun '17 - 2:51pm

    It looks like the DUP has effectively ditched its commitment to keep an open border with the Republic. Does it believe that £1bn will buy off the N. Irish majority who voted to remain in the EU and so maintain close ties with their southern neighbour? Or will the renewal of border controls paradoxically accelerate the tendency towards reunification?

  • Since there’s been a big deal for the Scots I don’t see why there shouldn’t be one for NI or Wales. Again Tim Farron is proving how useless he is as a communicator. Instead of just slamming May why doesn’t he come up with any solutions that help the English, Welsh and Northern Irish. Oh, I forgot, the LIb Dems are now the party of the status quo who have zilch imagination, zilch passion for rattling the cages of the establishment and zilch ability to tackle their own prejudices.

    Fact: Greens, Lib Dems and SNP went BACKWARDS in vote share. Isn’t it better to be at least a little humble and state we got it wrong it’s back to the drawing board on EVERYTHING?

  • paul barker 26th Jun '17 - 3:05pm

    The UK has so far managed to avoid the open bribes that undermine Democracy/Politics in The USA & Japan, we should call the £1Billion a bribe & condemn it as such.

  • Bernard Aris 26th Jun '17 - 3:19pm

    Seeing the amount of trust between Sin Feinn and the DUP (especially its leader; both far below freezing point), the creation of the backroom-boys filled “Co-ordination committee” between top Tory and DOP party people (if not ministers) in the coalition agreement is enough for Gerry Adams to conjure up all kinds of “London conspiracy” theories , and that will motivate their (SF) even more absolute refusal of any reconstruction of the Stormond government. That has the advantage for the DUP and Sin Fein that since the London government then assumes direct government of Ulster, it will be all the more in May’s own interest to come up with a brilliant solution to the Irish border conundrum; making traffic as friction free as it is in the EU Common Market….
    And if Ireland gets a friction free border, up pops Gibraltar demanding just the same…

    And as the BBC guide to the coalition deal ( http://www.bbc.com/news/election-2017-40245514 ) points out, any Tory retreat on LGTBI issues (to placate the reactionary, anti-abortion DUP in any way during these two years of agreement) risks a revolt of the Scotish Tories, whose leader is about to celebrate her own gay marriage.

    In other words, this deal leads May in to a host of quagmire issues…

  • Joseph Bourke 26th Jun '17 - 3:28pm

    The Alliance Party has issued a qualified welcome to the promised investment for NI while remaining cautious about the terms of the deal: https://www.allianceparty.org/article/2017/0011175/farry-welcomes-extra-money-but-says-it-is-vital-deal-does-not-becomes-a-missed-opportunity

  • I see the Lib Dems are going down their politics of process route. Here are a few questions the lib dems need to answer before they can even get past base camp

    1. in the final year of the Cameron government a net gain of 500,000 people migrated here. What is the Lib Dem plan for migration and their open borders when in 30 years time an extra 15m are here. Can you tell me the housing, public sector and other plans if most of these people are looking for unskilled work. Can you provide the plan that shows where the extra housing is going in your own wards.

    2. At the moment there are 1.7m unemployed people on the unemployment register. How are you going to dovetail open migration with finding those people jobs. Let’s say 200,000 people are easily employable at the least – what action plan will you be implementing to allow those people to fulfil their potential (as per your preamble).

    3. Experts are asserting that millions of jobs might go due to robots etc. How does having an open migration system assist the downsides of that? Is it more important that jobs are given to EU people and other migrants or UK citizens?

    In short what do LIb Dems mean by being a citizen of the 6th largest global economy. Do you believe that being a UK citizen holds advantages over other countries or not?

  • Richard Underhill 26th Jun '17 - 3:39pm

    If the Tory-DUP deal proves insufficient LIb Dem MPs should stick to the NO DEALS policy.
    Jeremy Corbyn has said that he will be Prime Minister within 6 months, so Labour is likely to continue its tribal behaviour.

  • James,

    People on the unemployment register fall into several types, some are transient, some shouldn’t be there but have been forced off disability by the government and some to be blunt are unemployable. If you sent back 1.6 million immigrants their would be severe labour shortages and the unemployment rate would still be near the one million mark. I appreciate automation may change the labour market but in what way to be blunt no one knows and being scared of change is just setting yourself up to fail, unfortunately one of the defining traits of the brave Brexiteers.

  • Frank I’m well aware of the unemployment situation as I’m a recipient of jsa and highly employable. You seem to have no idea of what’s going on and how to remove barriers to gaining employment. It’s typical of how the lib dens are so out of touch and no longer want to rattle the cages of the system.

    I hold down two voluntary jobs and am not in any way choosy or tardy about improving my prospects.

    I have loads of ideas about shaking upthe system unfortunately they are far too radical and treading on vested interests. So theib dems won’t be interested.

  • When the SNP threatened the rule of Westminster Scotland was granted further powers and it was granted the attention it deserved by the B(ritish)BC. Now the DUP have negotiated an immense amount of extra investment, dealt as a grant so the UK government can avoid investing elsewhere, in return for propping up Westminster.

    If you are English, do you you really feel that such a messy process should be necessary for the B(ritish)BC etc. and UK politicians sitting in Westminster to pay attention to the Celtic nations? When Sturgeon beat Cameron in the leader debates of 2015(?) one suggestion was that Cameron simply didn’t know enough about the SNP’s record to fight back – this is simply shocking if true. How can a campaign for Scotland remain part of the UK succeed when UK politicians seemingly have to be dragged kicking and screaming to proper consideration of politics outside of London and England?

    Lib Dems are just as bad. Rather than highlighting that there is no MP representation in Wales for the first time in an impressively long period (or that the only Lib Dem in government sits in Wales) the majority of articles on here since have avoided that subject in order to go over the same old Brexit ground.

  • Could we co-opt the DUP to negotiate for us next time we go into an electoral agreement?

  • James – Why are you on this site when you are clearly NOT a “lib dem supporter” ?

  • James,

    shaking up the system is what Liberalism and social democracy was created for. Of the great Liberal economists in the English tradition John Stuart Mill was perhaps the first to advocate a distinct change in the system of taxation with the Intention of bringing about social re­form. Mill considered rent an economic charge which was detri­mental both to his philosophy of individualism and to the economic process of distribution, for it secured to landowners a return for which they had performed no- labour. The main con­tention of individualism was that each man should enjoy the benefits of his own production.

    Are your ideas as radical as this?

  • James
    ” Do you believe that being a UK citizen holds advantages over other countries or not?”
    A UK passport holder can travel widely with visa free enntry to many countries.
    UK citizens resident receive welfare benefits that are not available to the citizens in a lot of other countries.

  • Quite right too but it should go further. I live in a top ten global economy with the main international language. Why on earth should I try and find an entry level job outside my own country? If it’s proving so difficult then why are the lib dems not doing something about it? The reason is because you have tunnel vision and are in paralysis about rattling cages and intervening in your own prejudices. Its very uncomfortable isn’t it?

  • Amanda Davis 27th Jun '17 - 10:03am

    I I have been a Lib Dem supporter for many years but only joined the local group last year to fight the Brexit result and stop us losing the NHS proportional representaction would give everyone a voice not just the richest parties

  • Matthew Huntbach 27th Jun '17 - 6:47pm


    Could we co-opt the DUP to negotiate for us next time we go into an electoral agreement?

    The problem is that it is far easier for the DUP to negotiate a mutually satisfactory deal with the Tories than it is for us. Northern Ireland is only a small part of the UK, so a deal which just involves dumping large amounts of money into Northern Ireland is cheap compared to the sort of deal we might want, which would involve more expenditure across the rest of the UK. Given that Northern Ireland is devolved from the rest of the UK, the DUP does not have a problem voting for things that might be unpopular in the rest of the UK, but won’t affect Northern Ireland. We’re not in that situation.

    What we are seeing now is just what would have been seen in 2010 had we not formed the Coalition. The Conservatives would have formed a minority government, as the largest party, and would have relied on the DUP to give it supply and confidence. So, for all those who abuse us and say we were bad to form the Coalition – see now, what you would rather have had is in place. Do you like it, yes or no?

    We were abused and almost destroyed for forming the Coalition. Therefore, by letting the alternative take place now, we are just doing what the electorate, by almost destroying us, have told us they wanted us to do. Sorry, if you don’t like what it results in, don’t blame us, blame yourselves. Once bitten, twice shy, we are.

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