Foster: ‘DUP will not be bounced in talks’

DUP leader Arlene Foster
DUP leader Arlene Foster

DUP leader Arlene Foster has said her party will not be “bounced” by “predictions of agreements and false briefings” in the Stormont talks.

Speaking to DUP members and supporters in Co Tyrone last night, she said those “insisting” on “negotiations first and negotiations only” would find the DUP a “resolute” opponent.

Mrs Foster said: “The DUP team has seen every negotiating tactic and trick there is.”

The DUP leader continued: “We have an experienced team who have a track record of knowing how to secure a good deal. Predictions of agreements and false briefings will not bounce the DUP. Parties playing games with proposals put forward one day and withdrawn the next won’t make the DUP blink either.”

Mrs Foster added: “Above the party politics, Unionism’s choice is not between saying yes to anything or no to everything. There is a middle path of saying yes to the right thing at the right time. This has been the DUP approach and it has delivered more for Unionism and Northern Ireland than any other strategy.”

She said any talks outcomes would be “judged against the criteria we published in our March Assembly election manifesto”.

“We will not however be a party to facilitating an outcome that is one sided in nature and not in the best interests of Northern Ireland,” Mrs Foster said.

She added: “Northern Ireland needs government and if that cannot be achieved at Stormont then Westminster will be required to provide it.”