DUP and Conservatives make confidence and supply deal worth £1.5bn

Elias Hubbard
June 27, 2017

Church leaders have urged Northern Ireland's politicians that "the most vulnerable are at greater risk" if they can not strike a power-sharing deal.

A spokesman for the DUP confirmed Foster was in London and would meet May on Monday at 0930 GMT.

However Sinn Fein, who pulled out of power-sharing with the DUP in January, prompting an election and a series of missed deadlines to restore the regional assembly, said the issues that led to the collapse remain.

This morning, Ireland's church leaders have written to all of the Northern parties, urging them to reach a deal on power sharing.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones described the £1bn injection as a "straight bung to keep a weak Prime Minister and a faltering Government in office". That means the £1 billion would be distributed by London, rather than local politicians in Belfast. "Northern Ireland needs a functioning devolved government at this important time".

After May lost her majority in parliament on June 8 with a failed gamble on a snap election, she tried to secure the backing of the small Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and its 10 lawmakers, though talks had dragged on for more than two weeks.

Under the agreement, about £1bn in "new money" has been earmarked for Northern Ireland, as well as greater flexibility over £500m already allocated to the country.

Northern Ireland's power-sharing arrangement means nationalists and unionists must work together, with the First Minister and Deputy First Minister chosen from different sides. Actually, I think that this agreement will bring the prospects of doing a deal at Stormont closer because this will have a positive impact in relation to Northern Ireland.

The DUP has signed a deal with the Conservatives to support Theresa May's minority Government, sparking an angry reaction from rival parties.

Speaking outside 10 Downing St., Foster said the deal delivers a stable United Kingdom government.

Opinion polls suggested she would win handily; but her campaign faltered, and she was left with fewer MPs than she started with.

DUP lawmakers will also support May's Brexit laws, "in line with the parties' shared priorities for negotiating a successful exit from the European Union".

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

And the SNP's leader in Westminster, Ian Blackford, said the deal showed Scotland is "seemingly to be offered little more than scraps from the table".

May has faced pressure on several fronts.

She has also been heavily criticized in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the tower block fire which killed at least 79 people.

The UK government's proposals for the rights of EU nationals after Brexit were deemed "not sufficient" by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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