Northern Ireland party signs deal to support May's government
Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Monday signed a deal with the Conservatives to support Prime Minister Theresa May's minority government in Britain.
The deal comes two weeks after the June 8 general election resulted in a hung Parliament and will see the 10 DUP MPs back the Tories in key Commons votes, BBC reported.
DUP leader Arlene Foster said that her party had signed the supply and confidence deal with the Tories that entailed a one billion pounds ($1.3 billion) investment in Northern Ireland over a two-year period.
Also, an additional 500 million pounds of previously announced funds by Britain will be spent on infrastructure, health and education in Northern Ireland.
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. There is also going to be a triple lock guarantee of at least a 2.5 per cent rise in the state pension each year, and winter fuel payments will be maintained throughout the UK.
The agreement was signed at 10 Downing Street by Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson and the DUP's Sir Jeffrey Donaldson in the presence of party leaders May and Foster, Xinhua news agency reported.
The deal also comes just days before a crucial vote in the House of Commons on the Queen's Speech, which last week set out government measures in the coming session of Parliament.
The pact will ensure DUP support to May if any of the Opposition parties attempt to move a vote of no confidence in the Prime Minister or her government, as well as guaranteeing support for budget matters.
May, welcoming the deal, said the two sides share many values in terms of wanting to see prosperity across Britain, the value of the union and the important bond between the different parts of the United Kingdom.
"The agreement we have come to is a very, very good one," said the British leader.
Foster said she was "delighted" with the arrangement and that May believed the deal was a "very good one" and the parties "share many values", the BBC reported.