As the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) has agreed to give the Conservatives its backing in Parliament, we take a look at what the party’s views on Brexit, farming and the environment are.
The DUP enthusiastically supported the leave campaign in the EU referendum for reasons of ‘principle and practicality’.
Their 2017 manifesto calls for the particular circumstances of the Northern Irish land border with the EU to be ‘fully reflected’ and demands a ‘frictionless border’ with the Irish Republic.
It also says a ‘comprehensive free trade and customs agreement with the EU’ should be a priority, but at the same time proposes progress on new free trade deals with the rest of the world.
This is an ambiguous position, because to stay in the customs union – as some are now proposing following the Conservatives’ poor performance at the election – would mean keeping the EU’s external tariff, making the Government unable to negotiate free trade deals with other countries.
The 2017 manifesto demands ‘local input’ into a new UK agricultural policy; an ‘appropriate support programme’ for farmers after Brexit and an ‘effective immigration policy’ which meets the UK’s labour needs.
It also calls for ‘strong protections’ for the agri-food industry to ‘guard against vulnerabilities to cheap inferior imports’, and asks for the importance of the sector to Northern Ireland’s economy to be recognised.
No mention… not one.
The party does have a streak of climate change scepticism – having once appointed a denier, Sammy Wilson, as Northern Ireland Environment Minister.