Conservatives reach a deal with the DUP to form minority government

After nearly three weeks of negotiating, the DUP have agreed to a 'confidence and supply' arrangement that will allow the Tories to form a minority government in Westminster.

The details of the arrangement can be read in full here.

The DUP has agreed to support the Conservative government on all matters related to motions of confidence, the Queen's Speech (which will crucially be voted for in the coming days), and budgetary matters, as well as on matters related to exiting the EU. Support for other matters will be agreed upon on a case by case basis.

DUP and Downing Street sources have said that the DUP's support would come in exchange for £1bn for Northern Ireland’s block grant. The extra cash will be spent on hospitals, schools and roads in the region, the DUP has said.

The agreement has also meant that the Triple Lock on pensions will be kept and that there will be no change to the universal winter fuel payment - meaning that the Tories have abandoned two key manifesto policies.

The wording of the agreement also indicates that the Tories will "never be neutral in expressing its support for the Union", which may make uneasy reading for those in republican quarters, although this is qualified by the reassurance that the Tories will support the principle of consent - meaning that the majority people of Northern Ireland can change the constitutional status of the country if they desire.

The DUP have also said that they will have "no involvement in the UK Government's role in political talks in Northern Ireland", although it is likely that the overlapping of their agreement in Westminster will raise ire amongst their would-be political partners Sinn Fein.

 

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