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DUP deal row: Scottish Government threatens formal dispute warning

28 June 2017

A deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party to shore up the minority government has sparked a furious row over plans to give £1 billion of additional public money to Northern Ireland.

May's minority government agreed to a massive injection of funds into Northern Ireland in exchange for DUP support in parliament to endorse her legislative agenda after her Conservative Party's dismal performance in the June 8 general election.

■ An extra £1billion in funding will go to Northern Ireland, mainly over the next two years, with £400m earmarked for infrastructure projects, £200m for improvement of the health service and the rest going on ultra-fast broadband, tackling deprivation, health and education pressures and mental health services.

"Today's deal represents a straight bung to keep a weak prime minister and a faltering government in office", Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones of the Labour party said.

A Financial Times editorial called the deal "squalid" and concluded the PM was weakened.

May and Foster looked on Monday as the agreement was signed by the Conservative Party's chief whip Gavin Williamson and the DUP's Jeffrey Donaldson. Ms Sturgeon said she would "reset" the timetable for holding a referendum by spring 2019, when Britain is expected to leave the European Union.

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The London Evening Standard, whose editor is former Tory chancellor George Osborne, pictured DUP leader Arlene Foster and prime minister Theresa May as Dr Evil and Mini-Me from the Austin Powers movies.

The DUP deal with May's party was crucial to Northern Ireland being able to move forward.

This coming Thursday is the latest deadline set by the British government for the parties in Northern Ireland to reach an agreement is Thursday.

The £1 billion will be given to Northern Ireland in a block grant for specific projects, meaning that the agreement will not affect the Barnett formula, which decides how to fairly share out money across the UK's devolved governments.

Mr Adams said any extra money for Northern Ireland was a good thing, and the restoration of power-sharing was the only way to ensure it was fairly distributed.

After two weeks of discussions, the DUP Leader Arlene Foster arrived at Downing Street shortly after 10.30am this morning, and the deal between the two parties was announced soon after.

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Scottish and Welsh MPs could choose to seize on the agreement at PMQs, which is preceded by Northern Ireland questions, where the issue is nearly certain to arise.

Al Jazeera reporter Neave Barker, wrote that under the agreement, Northern Ireland will receive a £1.3bn fiscal package.

They say it jeopardizes the government's pledge to be a neutral arbiter as part of the Good Friday agreement, which in 1998 brought peace to Northern Ireland after decades of sectarian strife.

However Sinn Fein, who pulled out of power-sharing with the DUP in January, prompting an election and a series of missed deadlines to restore the regional assembly, said the issues that led to the collapse remain.

Labour branded the deal "shabby and reckless", and warned it would undermine the trust in the impartiality of the British Government which was vital to the implementation of the Good Friday Agreement.

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