Government's 'shabby' deal with DUP branded a threat to Good Friday Agreement


May - who lost her majority June 8 with a failed gamble on a snap election - and DUP leader Arlene Foster presided at the signing of a deal at Downing Street, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Theresa May (2ndR) stands next to DUP leader Arlene Foster (2ndL), as DUP MP Jeffrey Donaldson (2L) sits and signs paperwork with Britain's Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasury Gavin Williamson, whilst posing for a photograph inside 10 Downing Street in central London, on June 26, 2017. "However, I welcome both parties recommitment to the Good Friday Agreement and its successors, and the commitment by the British Government to govern in the interests of all parts of the community in Northern Ireland". The covenant, which has guaranteed government support for military veterans and their families since 2000, has not applied to Northern Ireland until now because of sensitivities surrounding the role of the forces during the Troubles.

As part of the deal, the treatment of military veterans in Northern Ireland will be improved while the triple lock guarantee of 2.5 per cent spending on pensions, and existing universal winter fuel payments, will be maintained throughout the UK.

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Mrs Foster will lead a DUP delegation into talks with the Conservative Party this morning.

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 Press Association quoted Mrs Foster as saying she was "delighted" with the arrangement while Mrs May believed the pact was a "very good one".

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Foster, speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, said the deal would "support a minority government on a confidence and supply basis". The DUP is ultra-conservative on issues such as gay rights and abortion and the deal is certain to alarm social liberals on all sides of the political divide.

A small fringe party in Northern Ireland has promised that its 10 members of parliament will now back May on key votes including Brexit and the budget.

But the two parties agree on most things, including Britain's exit from the European Union, and the Democratic Unionists are eager to keep Jeremy Corbyn of the Labor Party from being prime minister, given his past sympathies for the Irish Catholic Sinn Fein party and the Irish Republican Army. "In the interests of transparency, the full terms of this agreement have been published", May said.

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The EU's Chief Brexit Negotiatior Michel Barnier, supported by the 27 EU governments have made border arrangements between Southern and Northern Ireland and the peace process at the hear of the negotiations.