Theresa May said she could form a government with the support of her “friends and allies” in the DUP, “having enjoyed a strong relationship over many years”. DUP leader Arlene Foster said her party would explore that option.
“This arrangement, if it happens, appears to have been made along a very fine margin and I would not be surprised if it struggled to last any length of time,” said Mrs Long.
“It has also made the possibility of successful talks more remote – there is now no credibility for the Tory government to be an independent chair, putting the entire process in real danger of collapsing.
“This promises to be a real eye-opener for people in Britain who may have never encountered the DUP before. Their regressive policies, particularly in relation to social issues, murky relationship with active paramilitaries and a number of outstanding allegations around financial scandals will be unwelcome news to many, who will be surprised as to who the Conservatives have jumped into bed with.
“There is a severe risk in having the DUP unilaterally dictating the direction of travel on Brexit and controlling what, if any, special arrangements are put in place for Northern Ireland. This region only works on the basis of sharing and interdependence. That is made all the more difficult when one side of the two diametrically opposed parties here has untold influence over the government.”