Conservatives Sign Agreement with the DUP
Under the so-called “confidence and supply” arrangement, the DUP will line up behind the government in key votes, such as on the Queen’s Speech and Budgets, which would threaten the government’s survival if they were lost.
They will also back Theresa May on Brexit and security matters, which are likely to dominate most of the current Parliament.
On other legislation, 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.
Theresa May fell nine seats short of an overall majority after the snap election, meaning she is reliant on other parties to pass legislation, including relating to the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
This arrangement differs from a formal coalition government such as the Conservatives had with the Liberal Democrats from 2010 to 2015 as the Democratic Unionist Party will not have members of the cabinet. This is agreement to supply the needed votes for key parliamentary actions so that the Conservatives can maintain a minority government.
The DUP will get the following for its support:
There will be £1.5bn in funding – consisting of £1bn of new money and £500m of previously announced funds – to be spent over the next two years on infrastructure, health and education in Northern Ireland, money Mrs Foster said was needed to address the challenges from Northern Ireland’s “unique history”.
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, while the triple lock guarantee of at least a 2.5% rise in the state pension each year, and winter fuel payments, will be maintained throughout the UK.
Other key points of the agreement include:
The DUP will support the Tories on all Brexit and security legislation
The UK’s 2% Nato defence spending target will continue to be met
Cash support for farmers will remain at current levels until the next election
Both parties to adhere to commitments in Good Friday Agreement
No Irish border poll without “consent of the people”