Published: Fri, June 30, 2017
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

Irish church leader on DUP agreement and Northern Ireland deadlock


A deal with the 10-seat Democratic Unionist Party would give May the majority she needs to control Parliament.

The Democratic Unionist Party is to receive an extra £1bn in funding from Brit taxpayers, including £150m to spend on broadband infrastructure, after it agreed to prop up Theresa May's minority government.

The deal comes after negotiations which have dragged on for more than two weeks following May's failure to secure a majority in parliament on June 8 with a failed gamble on a snap election.

"I welcome this agreement which will enable us to work together in the interests of the whole United Kingdom", May said in a statement.

"This means the DUP will support the Conservative government on votes on the queen's speech, the budget and legislation relating to Brexit and national security", May said.

The deal with the DUP will also prove controversial because of the party's opposition to gay marriage and abortion and concern that it could upset the fragile balance of the peace process in Northern Ireland.

Speaking to BBC News, Ian Blackford MP, leader of the SNP, said it is a "grubby deal".

The Tory-DUP deal includes concessions on issues such as pensions and keeping defence spending at 2% of GDP.

Labour's Kevin Brennan said that the continued provision of Short money, along with the extra funding, amounted to "double bubble for her friends in the DUP".

McDonnell said "we need to see an end to austerity throughout the United Kingdom not just in Northern Ireland, and not just to prop up Theresa May and her failed government".

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones said the deal was a "bung" which flew in the face of Government commitments to fair funding for the nations and regions.

It applauded the government for recognising the need to "examine how Northern Ireland's businesses are impacted by the UK's high rates of tourism Value-Added Tax".

The DUP and Sinn Fein have been holding talks at Stormont in attempts to restore power-sharing, with negotiators working into the night on Monday.

Despite the increase in availability of superfast broadband and mobile services, "challenges remain" in Northern Ireland, notes the document.

"He and Ruth Davidson should now live up to their boasts by preventing this deal to go through - they should order Scottish Tory MPs to use their votes to put a halt to it", she said.

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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