In Depth

DUP demands £2bn to prop up Theresa May's government

Talks stall over Unionist call for extra money for Northern Ireland

Arlene Foster's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is reportedly demanding billions be pumped into Northern Ireland in exchange for Tory political support.

The Unionists are calling for £1bn for the health service and another £1bn for infrastructure projects, says BBC Northern Ireland

They are also keen to reduce corporation tax, scrap air passenger duty, increase defence spending and see extra investment in companies from the province.

The "expensive wish-list makes it unlikely that a political agreement will be struck tomorrow, as No 10 hoped – or, perhaps ever", The Independent says.

The DUP demands came as negotiations on a confidence and supply agreement veered dangerously close to breaking down altogether. "The talks became so strained in the past few days that the DUP negotiators in Belfast refused to pick up the phone to the prime minister's team for 36 hours," reports the Daily Telegraph.

If the Tories accept the terms, the deal could end up costing UK taxpayers tens of billions of pounds more under the Barnett formula, the paper claims: "Typically £1 spent in the Province would require an additional £35 to be found for Scotland, England and Wales."

However, despite previous assertions from Theresa May that an agreement had been reached, a Tory-DUP accord seems unlikely.

"The two sides are still far apart on any deal and MailOnline understands a resolution is unlikely this week," the Daily Mail says.

Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, DUP chief whip at Westminster, confirmed his party wanted extra funding as part of any agreement, but dismissed the £2bn figure as "wild speculation" and "wide of the mark" in an interview with BBC Newsline.

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