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Theresa May announces pact with Northern Ireland's conservative DUP

26 June 2017

The DUP said the deal would apply for the lifetime of the Parliament, scheduled to last five years, but would also be reviewed at the end of the current session in two years time.

The leader of a Northern Ireland-based party is in Londo.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's Conservative party today struck a power deal with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) by agreeing to provide a 1.0 billion pound fund for the development of Northern Ireland in return for the support of the province's biggest party.

He added that it is now "absolutely critical" that a Northern Ireland Executive is formed by Thursday's deadline.

"The financial aspects of this deal entirely sum up how little the Tories care about Scotland - while a billion pounds is being handed over to Northern Ireland, Scotland is seemingly to be offered little more than scraps from the table".

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

The agreement with the ultra-conservative Northern Irish party was signed in May's Downing Street office after more than two weeks of negotiations following her disastrous showing in the June 8 general election.

"FSB welcomes the positive implications of the deal for infrastructure and jobs, but will now be calling on the local parties to engage to restore the institutions that will let Northern Ireland capitalise on this new-found investment".

Prime Minister Theresa May sits with aides during during a meeting with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Monday. "(It) flies in the face of the commitment to build a more united country and further weakens the UK". Prior to the election, the Conservatives held 331 seats and led the left-wing Labour Party by some 20 points in the polls.

May called this month's election hoping it would strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations, but ended up having to rely on the DUP instead. "And, will all parts of the United Kingdom receive the much-needed additional funding that Northern Ireland will get as part of the deal?"

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As part of the deal, money will be earmarked to address a bottleneck between three busy roads in Northern Ireland, and to open up "new opportunities for growth and connectivity" in digital infrastructure.

■ The DUP will have "no involvement" in the government's political talks in Northern Ireland and "recognises the need for early restoration of inclusive and stable" devolved government.

The Conservatives said the agreement "recognizes that Northern Ireland has unique circumstances within the United Kingdom, not least as a outcome of responding to challenges of the past".

She downplayed policy differences between her party and the more socially conservative DUP, which opposes abortion and same-sex marriage but the complicated process of removing Britain from the European Union.

Northern Ireland's other political parties also have objected to a Conservative alliance with the DUP, as it jeopardizes the government's pledge to be a neutral arbiter as part of the Good Friday agreement, which brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian strife.

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