Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservatives and Northern Ireland First Minister Arlene Foster’s DUP have reached an agreement to provide May with the majority she needs to govern.
The deal, which will provide Northern Ireland with an additional 2 billion pounds over the next two years, will last to the end of parliament in 2022 but is subject to review at the end of each session.
The agreement means May will be able to continue in government following the June 8th election, which reduced her Conservative majority to a minority, despite hopes at the beginning of the campaign that she would be able to increase her majority.
May has faced criticism over her decision to call the election, which otherwise would have been held in 2019. Her Conservative Party now will have to compromise on their Brexit negotiation strategy, leaving some worried no deal will be passed at all before the deadline passes.
Further concerns have been raised over the agreement with the DUP. The DUP currently leads a power-sharing government in Northern Ireland with Sinn Fein, an Irish republican party that wants to see a union with the Republic of Ireland. Some fear that the U.K. would no longer be seen as an impartial party in dealing with future conflicts between the two parties, potentially reversing some of the progress made since the Good Friday agreement.
The DUP has not yet reached an agreement with Sinn Fein after the latter’s quitting of the government. Elections in March increasing Sinn Fein’s strength means both parties need to reach an agreement to rule before a government can be formed. The two have already missed several deadlines to do so, with Sinn Fein calling for Foster’s resignation over the Renewable Heating Scandal.
(Image: Belfast Telegraph)