Following the snap General Election two weeks ago, the Prime Minister has revealed a deal has been struck between the Conservatives and DUP
It has been a tumultuous fortnight since the General Election for Prime Minister Theresa May. The surprise results saw the Conservatives lose their majority in parliament, with the nation in a hung parliament. A deal with the DUP would give May’s minority government the assistance needed to form a government; however, wrangling over the details has been underway for the past fortnight. Now, a pact has finally been agreed between the Conservatives and the DUP.
DUP leader Arlene Foster was quoted as saying she was “delighted” with the arrangement, while May stated the deal was a “very good one”.
May added: “We share many values in terms of wanting to see prosperity across the UK, the value of the union, the important bond between the different parts of the UK.
“We very much want to see that protected and enhanced and we also share the desire to ensure a strong government, able to put through its programme and provide for issues like the Brexit negotiations, but also national security issues.”
The news is undoubtedly good for May, who now has the support of the DUP when it comes to key votes such as the Queen’s Speech and Budgets. Without this support, the government could face difficulties.
No formal coalition
May was short of nine seats to gain a majority win. The DUP’s 10 MPs will give the government a majority, but there will be no formal coalition between the two parties.
Part of the negotiations included improving the treatment of military veterans in Northern Ireland. There are also reports extra funding for the nation has been agreed in return for support.
Foster said the agreement would see the triple lock for pensions maintained; winter fuel payments for all pensioners retained; defence spending kept at 2 per cent of GDP; and a financial package worth £1bn over two years. Foster also said there would be “new flexibilities” relating to how the £500m already committed to Northern Ireland is spent.
Support for such an agreement was not welcomed by all. Several senior Conservative members advised May not to make any formal deal with the DUP, fearing it could undermine the precarious political situation in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, the DUP’s stance on issues such as gay marriage and abortion has been seen as something that could damage the future of the party.