Wales, Scotland say May’s deal with DUP weakens United Kingdom

Wales, Scotland say May’s deal with DUP weakens United Kingdom

Sinn Fein said the deal could help public services but that “the devil is in the detail”.

“We very much want to see that protected and enhanced and we also share the desire to ensure a strong government“.

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Mrs May linked her deal with an attempt to end Northern Ireland’s political crisis by stipulating the money would only be released to a power-sharing executive in Belfast, raising pressure on the DUP to come to an agreement with their Catholic nationalist rivals.

Whenever demands are raised for government expenditure on urgent needs, the Tories sneer that there is no “magic money tree”. The covenant, which has guaranteed government support for military veterans and their families since 2000, has not applied to Northern Ireland until now because of sensitivities surrounding the role of the forces during the Troubles. In return, May agreed to least 1 billion pounds ($1.3 billion) in extra funding over two years for Northern Ireland, agreeing to raise pensions annually by at least 2.5 per cent and to keep universal winter fuel payments for the elderly.

May downplayed policy differences between her party and the more socially conservative DUP, which opposes abortion and same-sex marriage, and said the two parties “share many values”.

After almost two weeks of negotiation, mostly about money for the province, its leader, Arlene Foster, agreed to what is known as a “confidence and supply” agreement with May.

Labour branded the deal “shabby and reckless”, and warned it would undermine the trust in the impartiality of the British Government which was vital to the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

If one is not reached, then Northern Ireland Secretary James Brokenshire must step in and could call another Assembly election within a period.

Her hope is she will finalise a deal between the DUP and the Tories.

As part of the deal, the military covenant will be implemented in full in Northern Ireland, meaning more focus on the treatment of military veterans.

Asked if the deal would reduce the prospects of a powersharing agreement being secured in Northern Ireland, Mrs Foster replied: “Not at all”.

She said the money will be used to boost the region’s economy and invest in new infrastructure, health, education and other sectors. There will be 100 million pounds over five years for poverty programs and 50 million ($64m) for mental health programmes.

The other parts of the United Kingdom are also certain to object to special consideration for Northern Ireland.

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The support of the DUP, added to the Tories’ 317 MPs, means Mrs May passes the 326 figure needed for an overall Commons majority under a “confidence and supply” arrangement planned to last until 2022.

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

According to the Good Friday Agreement, failure to meet this deadline could usher in direct rule from London or further elections in the six counties.