The arrangement drew angry criticism from leaders in Scotland and Wales and from the DUP's rivals in Northern Ireland
, photo: Pool/Daniel Leal-Olivas, via AP
26 of June 2017 12:30:49
LONDON – British Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party Monday that is designed to give her minority government enough support in Parliament to endorse her legislative agenda later this week.The move, made necessary by her Conservative Party's dismal performance in the June 8 election, came with a high cost: May's government agreed to a massive injection of funds into Northern Ireland in exchange for Democratic Unionist support.
The package includes 1 billion pounds ($1.27 billion) of new funding and 500 million pounds ($638 million) of previously announced funds to help Northern Ireland develop its infrastructure, health services and schools.It should allow May to win backing for the Brexit-dominated agenda announced last week in the Queen's Speech that marked the opening of a new Parliament.The prime minister had enjoyed a clear majority in Parliament until she called a snap election in a bid to secure more Conservative seats. Instead, many voters turned to the Labour Party, costing May her majority and forcing her to seek a partner.She downplayed policy differences between her party and the more socially conservative DUP, which opposes abortion and same-sex marriage but the complicated process of removing Britain from the European Union.May said the two parties "share many values" and have many commitments in common."We also share the desire to ensure a strong government, able to put through its program and provide for issues like the Brexit negotiations, but also national security issues," May said. "So the agreement we have come to is a very, very good one."Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster said the agreement would "address the unique circumstances" of Northern Ireland.[caption id="attachment_64373" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] Prime Minister Theresa May greets DUP leader Arlene Foster, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds and DUP MP Sir Jeffrey Donaldson outside 10 Downing Street in London ahead of talks aimed at finalizing a deal to prop up the minority Conservative Government, Monday June 26, 2017. Photo: Press Association/Dominic Lipinski via AP[/caption]The money for Northern Ireland raised questions at a time of severe budget shortages.British lawmakers are seeking additional funding for the police and security services after recent extremist attacks, as well as more and better public housing following a high-rise apartment fire that killed at least 79 people.Foster's party had demanded tangible benefits in terms of jobs and investment for Northern Ireland before she would agree to support May's government. The DUP has 10 seats in Parliament, enough to guarantee passage of the government's agenda.The June 8 election gave May's Conservatives the most seats, but not enough to automatically carry legislation, notably the thorny choices to come concerning Britain's departure from the European Union.Opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said the agreement suits May's wish to stay in power but does little for the country."Where is the money for the Tory-DUP deal coming from?" the Labour leader asked. "And, will all parts of the U.K. receive the much-needed additional funding that Northern Ireland will get as part of the deal?"
The deal between the Conservatives and DUP flies in the face of the commitment to build a more united country and further weakens the UK— Carwyn Jones (@fmwales) 26 de junio de 2017
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