Brexit, defence and agriculture - What's in the Tory-DUP deal?

Brexit, defence and agriculture - What's in the Tory-DUP deal?

A deal has been agreed between the Conservatives and the DUP

Monday, June 26, 2017

A deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party has been completed in order to support Theresa May's minority government.

It was signed by Tory chief whip Gavin Williamson and DUP representative Sir Jeffrey Donaldson, with the prime minister and DUP leader Arlene Foster present.

But after nearly three weeks of talks following the general election which resulted in a hung Parliament, what is actually in the final £1 billion deal?

The result of the negotiations between the two parties sets out how the 'confidence and supply' agreement will work. It is not a coalition, but means the smaller party supports the larger party on certain issues.

According to The Telegraph, the DUP has said it will support the government on the Queen's Speech and all motions of confidence.

The party will also support the Conservatives on financial issues, including matters such as the Budget, finance bills, money bills as well as supply and appropriation legislation.

The agreement also states that due to recent terror attacks in the UK and the fact Brexit negotiations are taking place the DUP is to support the Tories on related legislation.

Despite these agreements, any other legislation will be looked at by the DUP on a case-by-case basis, meaning support isn't guaranteed for the Conservatives on other issues.

In order for these agreements to take place, a co-ordination committee will be created, and chaired by the government, to ensure both parties stick to the proposals in the deal.

The formation of this committee is to be agreed by both parties but it will not, however, include the Northern Ireland Secretary.

The Conservatives and the DUP have also agreed on certain policies. There is to be no change to the pensions 'triple lock', or the way in which the winter fuel payment is given out universally.

These policies had originally been outlined in the Tory manifesto during the election campaign and had caused controversy, as some claimed it seemed the party was simply expecting to get the older generation's vote.

On defence, the parties have said they will ensure they meet the Nato commitment of spending two per cent of GDP on the armed forces, as well as committing to the Armed Forces Covenant. They will also look at ways to support reserve forces in Northern Ireland.

Due to the importance of the agricultural sector in Northern Ireland, the Tories and the DUP will ensure this is a critical policy point in Brexit negotiations. Funding for farm support will still be given at the same cash total, until Parliament ends. More discussions on support for farming are due to take place.

The final section in the agreement is about the devolved government in Northern Ireland. It states the Conservatives' belief that the best future for Northern Ireland is one where it remains within the United Kingdom, but it will uphold the democratic wishes of those in Northern Ireland.

Both parties are to uphold commitments made in the Belfast Agreement and they are to ensure an inclusive and stable devolved government in Northern Ireland is restored. The deal also states that additional support is needed for Northern Ireland.

But when the government holds political talks within Northern Ireland, the DUP won't be involved and will only participate as a party which is entitled to form part of an executive, as the other parties in the province do.

The agreement will stay in place for the entire length of the Parliament, however it can be reviewed if both parties agree.