Theresa May Makes Deal With Northern Ireland Democratic Party

Stormont in Belfast
Stormont in Belfast

30 June, 2017

"However, we are in the position where we do not hold a clear majority so it is right that we continue to work with our friends and allies such as those in the Democratic Unionist Party".

"We are close to concluding an appropriate agreement with the Conservative Party to support a minority government on a confidence and supply basis", Foster, who travelled to London on Sunday, wrote in the Belfast Telegraph.

The sight of DUP leader Arlene Foster smiling on the steps of 10 Downing Street with Prime Minister Theresa May will not sit well with rivals Sinn Fein and its leader, Gerry Adams, who maintains the deal would break the terms of the Good Friday Agreement.

Now, the 10 DUP MPs will support the Conservatives in key Commons decisions and votes.

Under Northern Ireland's power-sharing agreement, the government there must be run by Irish nationalists and unionists together.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, however, said the deal was "clearly not in the national interest". The DUP deal with May's party was crucial to Northern Ireland being able to move forward.

The majority of the £1bn allocated to Northern Ireland includes £200m per year for two years for the York Street interchange Project.

The Scottish National Party's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said the party will fight to ensure Scotland gets "its fair share" under the Barnett formula, which governs how central funding is shared between the nations of the UK.

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■ The DUP will have "no involvement" in the government's political talks in Northern Ireland and "recognises the need for early restoration of inclusive and stable" devolved government.

According to the policy agreement between the two parties, the Conservatives will no longer go ahead with controversial plans to change the pension triple lock and Winter Fuel Payment.

"Northern Ireland has been traditionally an area that has required significant Government public assistance given the difficulties there have been and the way the country is developing".

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones described the $A1.68b injection as a "straight bung to keep a weak prime minister and a faltering government in office".

Northern Ireland has itself been in crisis since Sinn Fein pulled out of government in January, prompting an election in March and a series of missed deadlines to restore the compulsory coalition between Irish Catholic nationalists and pro-British Protestant unionists.

"In particular, the delivery of the York Street Interchange has always been a key infrastructure priority for local firms from across Northern Ireland, not just those based in Belfast".

Conservative grandee Chris Patten described events leading up to the power-sharing deal, including last year's Brexit referendum called by May's predecessor David Cameron, as "the most damaging thing that's happened politically during my lifetime".

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