How close to collapse is May's deal with DUP?

Any DUP arrangement looks set to leave Theresa May looking over her shoulder. Credit: PA

Like a micro Brexit, Theresa May's talks with the DUP on a deal to prop up her government - the famous confidence-and-supply deal - is turning into a journey without end.

The agreement was supposed to be announced on Tuesday, then Thursday and now? Well no one knows.

That said, government sources say the PM still wants a formal pact with the 10 DUP MPs and thinks she can get one.

What's going wrong?

Senior DUP members are reluctant to prop up Theresa May's government. Credit: PA

Well supposedly the DUP is "overplaying its hand" and is asking for too much wonga, or more accurately is asking for too much investment in Northern Ireland.

The reason the party is pushing the boat out is that not all senior DUP members are that keen on propping up the government.

Could May survive if the pact with the DUP never materialises?


Would she choose to govern on such a hand-to-mouth basis, forcing her chief whip to cajole and haggle to win every vote.


So it is still all a bit tense for the governing class in SW1.

Opponents of the government expect Theresa May's administration to be short-lived. Credit: PA

And sources tell me that if any deal is finally done, it will be more short-term than she desired.

Which is one reason why there is informed chatter that the Commons will probably now not sit in September, and MPs won't get back to work till October.

The logic of extending their break is that estranged Tory MPs will be less well placed to plot and scheme to get her out.

Government planning is now all about giving her enough time and space for her to get her mojo back, so that her own MPs and members stick with her - at least for a few more months.