Conservatives agree pact with DUP to support May government

Claudine Rigal
Juin 26, 2017

The leader of a Northern Ireland-based party is in London to finalise an agreement with Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative-led government to support it in a crucial vote on the government's legislative package later this week.

"Whilst focusing on stable government in London, I am frustrated that nearly four months after the Assembly election no Executive has been formed in Northern Ireland".

Some senior Conservatives have voiced unease at a deal with the DUP, saying it could put at risk the 1998 peace settlement in Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement.

The deal will come as a relief to the British prime minister who is struggling with mounting complex problems, including party splits over the terms on which to leave the European Union and talk of a possible leadership challenge.

She also said the Tories had now recognised the case for higher funding in Northern Ireland including for large infrastructure projects. With only eleven of Northern Ireland's eighteen MPs taking their seats in the House of Commons, I can assure people in every constituency, DUP MPs will speak up for everyone and will seek to deliver for everyone.

The agreement will remain in place for the length of this Parliament - due to end in 2022 - and can be reviewed "by the mutual consent of both parties", the document says.

"In concluding this wide-ranging agreement, we have done so on the basis of advancing the security of our nation, building prosperity for all, and supporting an exit from the European Union that benefits all parts of the United Kingdom".

It states that the deal means that the DUP agrees 'to support the Government on all motions of confidence; and on the Queen's speech; the Budget; finance bills; money bills, supply and appropriation legislation and Estimates'.

She added that the funding would "address the unique circumstances" of Northern Ireland and the impact on its people.

"After weeks of secret backroom negotiations, the Tories have now signed a grubby deal with the DUP", Blackford said.

Speaking in Downing Street, Foster said government will channel an extra 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) to Northern Ireland over the next two years.

He told BBC Radio 4's World At One: "We could have, but this deal achieves two things".

Despite fears a pact could complicate talks to restore the Northern Ireland Executive, Mrs Foster told Sky News she was confident her party would clinch agreements in Westminster and Stormont.

Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the agreement suits May's wish to stay in power but does little for the country.

Concerns have been raised that a Tory-DUP deal could make it harder for a new power sharing deal between unionist and nationalist parties in Northern Ireland to be agreed. "And, will all parts of the United Kingdom receive the much-needed additional funding that Northern Ireland will get as part of the deal?"

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