May pays out for deal to govern Britain

Source:AFP Published: 2017/6/26 23:28:40

PM strikes $1.3 billion deal to get support from Northern Irish party

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservatives struck a deal with an ultra-conservative party on Monday that will allow them to govern in exchange for an extra 1 billion pound ($1.3 billion) in funds for Northern Ireland.

The controversial pact with the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party comes after May ended up losing her parliamentary majority in an election earlier this month that she had called to boost her support for Brexit talks.

Under the terms of the agreement, Northern Ireland will receive an extra 1 billion pounds from the state over two years in exchange for DUP supporting May's Conservatives.

The DUP said it would back the government in any confidence votes and to pass budgets, as well as support it on Brexit-related legislation.

For any other parliamentary votes, the DUP - which has 10 MPs - said its support would be on a case-by-case basis.

The agreement was signed by senior Conservative and DUP officials in May's Downing Street office as May and DUP leader Arlene Foster looked on.

Opposition parties swiftly criticized it, with the Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron calling it a "shoddy little deal."

"The nasty party is back, propped up by the DUP," he said in a statement.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones of the main opposition Labour Party called the deal  "outrageous" and "unacceptable" and said the money was a "bung" to keep a weakened prime minister in office.

The Independent news website said May was paying a "high price to cling on to power."

The Conservatives have 317 seats in the 650-seat parliament after the June 8 election and need the support of the DUP's 10 MPs to be able to govern.

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.

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

Foster said that "this agreement will operate to deliver a stable government in the UK's national interest at this vital time."

The DUP supported Brexit but has emphasized the need to keep the border with the Irish republic open, and Foster said the deal would back a Brexit process "that supports all parts of the UK."


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