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U-KAOS: DUP agreements leads to confusion, anger amidst delicate situation

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UK PM May (left) and Arlene Foster of the DUP (right)
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MIDWEST CITY, Okla. -- It has been a few weeks since Prime Minister Theresa May took a gamble by calling a snap election in order to bolster her majority in parliament, but ended up losing that majority and turning to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) to make up for those seats lost.

Agreements reached will allow her and her minority government to continue acting as if she has a majority parliament. May has stated the deal will “give [Britain] certainty” and that the two parties “share many values in terms of wanting to see prosperity across the UK,” but the agreement has come at a price, spinning the United Kingdom into more anger, confusion and chaos than before.

The Tory-DUP deal consists of an additional 1 billion pounds of new money being allocated to Northern Ireland to to help their infrastructure, health and education.

In exchange the DUP will maintain a “confidence and supply” agreement, supporting the tories on key votes such as Brexit, the budget and various other key areas, allowing the minority government to pass legislation.

Support for other issues which fall outside of the agreement will be determined on a case-by- case basis although the DUP is expected to support the Tories in the majority of cases.

It is also worth noting that the DUP are able, and expected to, ask for additional considerations outside of the agreement.

Advantages for the United Kingdom that arise from the deal include no changes to pensions triple lock nor winter fuel allowance.

The deal has been heavily criticised. The most notable criticism being the fact that the conservative party have been able to find 1 billion pounds to gain the DUP’s support while the Tory party has had the country living under austerity measures.

The party has continuously claimed that there is no money to give much needed pay rises in the public healthcare and education sector with May’s infamous catchphrase being that “there is no magic money tree” and calls for people to live within their means.Yet, with the DUP holding ten seats in parliament the conservatives have essentially paid 100,000 pounds per seat to maintain the DUP’s support.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has demanded to know where the money has come from and whether other nation will be receiving the much needed money.

DUP leader Arlene Foster defended the Tories decision stating, “The Conservative Party has recognized the case for higher funding in Northern Ireland given our unique history and circumstances over recent decades.”

The Barnett formula is typically used to determine how funds are distributed fairly between the nations, and The Scottish National Party (SNP) has criticized the allocation of additional funding to Northern Ireland outside of this formula, however these criticisms have been labelled the height of hypocrisy as funding has been allocated on top of the the formula many times in the past, particularly in Scotland.

May has received much backlash for the deal from members of her on party who believe she should have foregone the agreement, daring the DUP to vote against her when they are so venomously against the policies of the opposition party.

The DUP is a anti-abortion and anti-gay rights party and many of her MPs feel that an agreement with a party that hold such extreme view will only damage their party’s reputation. The agreement has been seen as a weak and dangerous attempt to stay on in number 10 at any cost.

There is much division as to if this agreement will affect the peace process in Ireland. Former Tory Prime Minister John Major expressed concern over the DUP-Conservative deal and urged the Prime Minister not to go through with it. His concerns were that the government could not play the crucial impartial role they hold in the peace process which ended three decades of violence in 1998.

As a result “hard men still there” in both parties would be encouraged to restart violence. However, other MPs believe that his statement is just scaremongering and note that the DUP has worked with previous governments before without harming the process.

The Northern Ireland party Sinn Fein has named the DUP-Tory agreement as the reason for Sinn Fein and the DUP’s failing talks in attempt to restore the power-sharing agreement in Northern Ireland.

While both parties have been divided on various issues for many months now, Sinn Fein’s Stormont leader Michelle O’Neal has described the DUP-Tory deal as a “monumental failure” stating that May has “set back decades of work” done between Sinn Fein and the DUP with the deal.More than ever the pressure is on Theresa May to stabilize the country and prevent the agreement with the DUP from descending into a “coalition of chaos”.

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Alicea Walley

Alicea Walley is a work-at-home mom of one with a degree of English Law and Spanish...

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