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Northern Ireland's DUP agrees to support May's minority government

Northern Ireland's DUP agrees to support May's minority government”

LONDON (AP) - Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal Monday with Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party to support her minority government and ensure passage of her legislative agenda later this week.

SNP MPs have questioned whether the arrangement, involving over £1 billion of pledges from Theresa May in return for DUP support, is subject to the Barnett formula that is used to dole money out between the constituent parts of the UK.

DUP Leader Arlene Foster said the agreement would benefit all the people of Northern Ireland.

"This Tory-DUP deal is clearly not in the national interest but in May's party's interest to help her cling to power".

On other legislation, however, the DUP's support is not necessarily guaranteed - although the Northern Ireland party is expected to back the majority of the government's programme for the next two years after many of its more controversial policies were dropped.

He added: "The commitment to extend the Armed Forces Covenant to Northern Ireland is welcome but there are other important changes which are needed which are not mentioned". As part of the deal, funds will be provided to boost Northern Ireland's economy and offer investment in new infrastructure, health and education.

But those hopes quickly dissipated after local and national elections in which both the DUP and Sinn Fein increased their vote, showing that nearly two decades after the peace agreement was signed Northern Ireland remained as polarised as ever.

The DUP are a Protestant, working-class party with a socially conservative domestic platform, focused primarily on maintaining Northern Ireland's place within the United Kingdom, in line with a clear majority of the Province's residents.

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- The UK government notes that one of the first tasks for Northern Ireland's new executive will be to work towards the devolution of corporation tax rates, the timetable for its introduction, and how this might best be flexibly managed, with options being developed for the Autumn Budget 2017.

The DUP recognises the need for early restoration of inclusive and stable devolved government in Northern Ireland and affirms its commitment to agreeing the formation of an Executive. She's also understood to have found an extra £1 billion of funding for Northern Ireland that is earmarked for hospitals, schools and roads.

"I note that the agreement provides for DUP support for British government legislation on Brexit", he said.

May called the snap election three years before legally required to do so in an effort to secure a mandate which she said would strengthen her position going into Brexit talks. It was founded in 1971 by the Rev. Ian Paisley, a rabble-rousing advocate of keeping Northern Ireland part of the union rather than being united with the rest of Ireland.

Al Jazeera's Neave Barker said that under the agreement, the DUP will receive a $1.3bn fiscal package.

"The price of today's DUP-Tory deal is DUP support for continued Tory austerity and cuts to public services", Adams said.

The DUP will have no involvement in the UK Government's role in political talks in Northern Ireland.



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