12 Jun 2017

Conservatives and DUP: What will be in the deal?

When the Tory/DUP deal is agreed between Arlene Foster and Theresa May, don’t expect a publication like the Coalition Agreement in 2010.

The published version of this accord will be brief. You will only really be able to assess its impact when you look back and measure the cash transfers to Northern Ireland from the Treasury.

Some of it will be badged and proclaimed by the DUP. A lot may not. The vast bulk of the demands are economic.

Some, like ending or cutting airport duty tax, are a real headache because every airport in the UK will want equal treatment.

It’s not clear whether the DUP leadership will milk this moment for everything it is worth or seal a deal more quickly.

The government doesn’t want to antagonise them by hurrying them along but that’s how we’ve ended up with uncertainty about the Queen’s Speech.

The government doesn’t know where it will be able to “go goat.”

That’s the expression given to the moment when the list of bills planned is signed off and ready to be written into the Queen’s Speech, formally opening Parliament.

The “goat” is a reference to high quality, long life parchment paper on which the Queen’s Speech is written, known as goatskin paper.

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