Democratic Unionist Party

An agreement was made on Monday 26th June that will see the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) support the Government on votes on the Queen Speech, the Budget, and legislation that relates to our departure from the European Union and National Security.

You can read all the details of the ‘confidence and supply’ agreement here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/conservative-and-dup-agreement-and-uk-government-financial-support-for-northern-ireland/agreement-between-the-conservative-and-unionist-party-and-the-democratic-unionist-party-on-support-for-the-government-in-parliament

The Prime Minister is right in trying to form a Government in the national interest. With the most seats and most votes, the Conservative Party has the ability and legitimacy to do that. In a recent statement the PM said:

“I welcome this agreement which will enable us to work together in the interest of the whole United Kingdom, give us the certainty we require as we embark on our departure from the European Union, and help us build a stronger and fairer society at home. In the interests of transparency, the full terms of this agreement have been published.”

I want to qualify a few points about the agreement that has been reached with the DUP.

Importantly, the agreement makes clear that the Government remains committed to the Belfast Agreement and its successors, and in governing in the interests of all parts of the community in Northern Ireland.

Moreover, the deal with the Democratic Unionist Party does not include any concessions on social issues such as LGBT rights. As stated it will be a ‘confidence and supply’ deal which is not a coalition, but an agreement which sees the smaller party support the larger one in key votes such as the budget. Indeed, it was a Conservative Government that implemented the Same Sex Marriage Act in 2013, and over the last two years, £2 Million has been invested in projects to tackling homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools; this is a cause that won’t be compromised.

On the Northern Ireland peace process, I understand the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland continues to work to restore a Northern Ireland Executive as soon as possible.