PM accused of jeopardising peace in Northern Ireland with DUP deal

After May lost her majority in parliament on June 8 with a failed gamble on a snap election, she is trying to secure the backing of the small Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) and its 10 lawmakers, though talks have dragged on for more than two weeks.

The 1 billion pound ($1.274 billion) agreement is known as a confidence and supply arrangement, meaning that the party will vote with the Conservatives on key votes in Parliament.

The Conservatives have 317 seats in the 650-seat parliament after the election and need the support of the DUP's 10 MPs to be able to govern.

Under Northern Ireland's power-sharing agreement, the government there must be run by Irish nationalists and unionists together.

Jeremy Corbyn - leader of the U.K.'s Labour Party - criticized the deal with the DUP, which he said amounted to nothing more than a desperate power grab by May.

Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: "In concluding this grubby, shameless deal, the Tories (Conservatives) have shown that they will stop at nothing to hold on to power - even sacrificing the very basic principles of devolution".

Mrs May was challenged at PMQs over the investment of around £1 billion of taxpayers' money in Northern Ireland, announced as part of the deal on Monday.

Many analysts believe a deal that hands Northern Ireland additional funding but does not damage Irish nationalist interests or undermine peace could motivate Sinn Fein to agree to return to government.

Tory grandee Lord Chris Patten told ITV's Peston on Sunday the alliance with the "toxic" DUP will be politically costly for the Conservatives. "We are determined to utilise this position to help deliver stable government in the United Kingdom and address long-standing issues which affect everyone in Northern Ireland".

In a three page document outlining the terms of the deal, the DUP said it had agreed to support the government on all motions of confidence.

First Minister Carwyn Jones said the deal with the DUP "further weakens the UK" and "all but kills the idea of fair funding for the nations and regions".

The party's president Gerry Adams raised concerns about the commitment contained in the deal for Tories and the DUP to support the implementation of the Armed Forces Covenant throughout the UK.

"It is right that we talked to other parties to seek to ensure that the government can provide the competence the country needs at this crucial time".

Labour have claimed that the £1 billion Tory-DUP deal for Northern Ireland has denied the rest of the United Kingdom an estimated £34 billion in public funding.


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