Published: Mon, June 26, 2017
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

Theresa May signs agreement with DUP to remain in power


May greeted DUP leader Arlene Foster outside of the prime minister's Downing Street office.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives have signed a deal with Norther Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to form a government, days after she lost the majority in a general election.

The two leaders then watched as Conservative chief whip Gavin Williamson and his DUP counterpart Jeffrey Donaldson signed the documents in No 10.

"I think that this agreement will bring the prospects of doing a deal at [the Belfast Parliament] Stormont closer because this will have a positive impact in relation to Northern Ireland", Foster told Sky, adding that a second deal on power sharing in the province could be reached this week too.

As part of the deal, May agreed to increase spending in the Northern Ireland by £1 billion over two years while the DUP agreed to support May on her budget, Brexit laws, national security and her overall legislative plan.

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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.

"The Conservatives" assumption they could win the election comfortably whilst withdrawing policy support from their core constituency of older voters back-fired painfully.

May's pursuit of the DUP has raised concerns across the political spectrum, even within her own party.

May said the two parties "share many values" and have many commitments in common.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney said an "enhanced Northern Ireland voice" could be beneficial in relation to the ultimate Brexit deal.

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Downing Street has said that as the allocation is being made as part of the block grant to Northern Ireland, there will be no consequentials through the Barnett formula, the mechanism used to distribute Treasury funds to the devolved nations.

The SNP's Westminster leader Ian Blackford said: "If Northern Ireland is to receive billions more in funding because the DUP are prepared to prop up the Tories, additional funding must come to Scotland as Barnett consequentials - anything less would be a democratic outrage".

The efforts of the terrorist Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) organisation to remove Northern Ireland from the United Kingdom by force had a deep personal impact on Foster, whose police officer father was shot in an attempted assassination when she was a child. With the support of the 10 DUP lawmakers, May would have a majority if all her lawmakers support her.

"These measures will reflect the joint commitment of the United Kingdom government and Northern Ireland executive to support growth and infrastructure development in all parts of the United Kingdom", the document said.

Mrs Foster will now return to Northern Ireland to attempt to agree a power-sharing deal ahead of this week's deadline.

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