Monday, 26 June 2017

DUP and Conservatives make confidence and supply deal worth £1bn



The DUP has signed a deal with the Conservatives to support Theresa May's minority Government.
 
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.


A large portion of the cash - £400m - is going to be spent on infrastructure, with "significant" investment also planned in health and education.


In exchange, the Conservatives will now receive support from the DUP's 10 MPs on key votes in the Commons - including those relating to the Queen's Speech, the Budget, national security and Brexit.


DUP leader Arlene Foster has confirmed there will now be no changes to the triple lock on pensions anywhere in the UK following the deal - with the Tories also abandoning plans to means-test winter fuel payments.


The agreement was signed inside Downing Street by Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson and the DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson while the party leaders watched on.
 
 
The Tory and DUP chief whips signed the deal in Downing Street today as Theresa May and Arlene Foster looked on. Pictured left to right, DUP deputy leader Nigel Dodds, Mrs Foster, DUP chief whip Jeffrey Donaldson, Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson, Mrs May, First Secretary of State Damian Green 
 
 
Once the deal was reached, the Prime Minister said: "I welcome this agreement which will enable us to work together in the interest of the whole United Kingdom, give us the certainty we require as we embark on our departure from the European Union, and help us build a stronger and fairer society at home.


"The agreement we have come to is a very, very good one, and we look forward to working with you."


Mrs Foster added that she believes the agreement works for "national stability", and she reiterated her determination to get the Northern Ireland Executive back in place as soon as possible.


The Prime Minister has warned that "time is running short" for parties to come together and re-establish a power-sharing executive before the deadline of 29 June.


Mrs Foster is now returning to Belfast so those discussions can continue.


Some Conservatives had raised concerns about linking up with the DUP because of its opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.




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