Home / World / UK PM Theresa May strikes deal to get Northern Irish DUP support for minority government

UK PM Theresa May strikes deal to get Northern Irish DUP support for minority government


Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017.

Kevin Coombs | Reuters

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May speaks outside 10 Downing Street after an attack on London Bridge and Borough Market left 7 people dead and dozens injured in London, Britain, June 4, 2017.

British Prime Minister Theresa May struck a deal on Monday to prop up her minority government with the support of a small Northern Irish Protestant party.

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

May and DUP leader Arlene Foster presided at the signing of a deal at Downing Street on Monday. They smiled and joked as negotiators from both sides, the DUP’s Jeffrey Donaldson and the Conservatives’ Gavin Williamson signed the deal.

The details of the deal were not immediately released. A deal would allow May to pass legislation with the backing of the DUP in the 650-seat parliament, and stay in power as she attempts to negotiate Britain’s exit from the European Union.

But May’s position remains insecure. Her Brexit strategy is under scrutiny and her future as prime minister is the subject of public debate. Some senior Conservatives have voiced unease at a deal with the DUP, saying it could put at risk the 1998 peace settlement in Northern Ireland, known as the Good Friday Agreement. Foster said a deal with May could help drive a second
deal on power sharing in the province.

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