The two parties had been locked in talks since the June 8 general election threw up a hung Parliament and May entered Downing Street on the assumption that the DUP’s 10 MPs would be backing the Tories in Parliament to make up for a lack of overall majority in the House of Commons.
May and DUP leader Arlene Foster presided at the signing of a deal at Downing Street on Monday.
THE DUP has backed a deal to support the minority Conservative government.
She added that the funding would “address the unique circumstances” of Northern Ireland and the impact on its people.
“I welcome this agreement, which will enable us to work together in the interest of the whole United Kingdom, give us the certainty we require as we embark on our departure from the European Union, and help us build a stronger and fairer society at home”, May said in a statement.
“The claim is being made that the funding being made available is a recognition of Northern Ireland’s special circumstances – but if there was any true appreciation of those circumstances, there would be no deal at all with the DUP”. The package includes 1 billion pounds ($1.27 billion) of new funding and 500 million pounds ($638 million) of previously announced funds.
Mundell said last week that any funding for Northern Ireland should adhere to rules about funding for Wales and Scotland too.
Northern Ireland is still without a government after the DUP and Sinn Fein failed to strike a power sharing deal. I hope the parties will look beyond their differences and come together with a shared sense of common goal to serve all communities in the best interests of Northern Ireland.
The Tories now face a bumpy day of criticism, about how the DUP have been bought off – £100m for each of their ten votes in Parliament.
Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May, second left, during a meeting with the Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster, second right.
Even with DUP lawmakers onside, May’s effective majority is slim and her position remains insecure though she has promised to extricate the Conservatives from what she termed the “mess” of the election.
“By attempting to secure her future by throwing money at one part of the UK, the prime minister’s deal risks weakening the bonds that unite the UK – and shows how empty her rhetoric is about the future of the (UK)”, Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said.
Northern Ireland’s other political parties have also objected to any kind of alliance with the DUP, as it jeopardizes the government’s pledge to be a neutral arbiter as part of the Good Friday agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian strife. And if the cuts are to be eased in Northern Ireland, what about other parts of the country?
“I think not, no”, Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams said when asked if the deal in London had influenced progress in Belfast to revive the power-sharing executive that collapsed in January.
But the party that in 1977 launched the “Save Ulster (Northern Ireland) from Sodomy” campaign still holds tight to what critics call its puritanical views, particularly on social issues such as abortion and sexual equality.