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Dublin: 2°C Thursday 22 April 2021

No mention of the Irish border in DUP's Tory deal

It does mention broadband and health spending.

Image: Dominic Lipinski

THE DUP’S DEAL to prop up Theresa May’s Conservative Party focuses on three policies: pensions, armed forces and farming.

The document, agreed today between Arlene Foster’s party and the embattled Tory Prime Minister, contains no mention of the Irish border or language. Nor does it make any mention of Northern Ireland’s status during Brexit.

The document says that the parties had agreed that:

  • The so-called “pensions triple lock” will remain in place, as will the Winter Fuel Payment
  • The UK will meet the NATO plan to spend 2% of GDP on armed forces and there will be an attempt to support the reserve forces in the North
  • Agriculture is an important sector in Northern Ireland and that cash supports for farmers will not be cut

The document also commits to early restoration of the power-sharing executive in the North, but agrees that the DUP will have no role in the British government’s involvement in those talks.

A further document published this afternoon outlines the spending that will be committed to Northern Ireland.

This includes:

  • £400 million to complete the York Street Interchange in Belfast and other infrastructure priorities
  • £150 million to provide ultra-fast broadband
  • Devolution of corporation tax rates
  • The establishment of a set of city deals and enterprise zones
  • £100 million to tackle severe deprivation
  • £100 million in additional health spending
  • £200 million on health service transformation
  • £50 million in additional mental health spending

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Foster, flanked by party cohorts Nigel Dodds and Jeffrey Donaldson, said that the agreement, which will see in the region of £1.5 billion (£1 billion in new money, and £500 million in future spending commitments) gifted to Northern Ireland for investment in infrastructure, will deliver “a stable government in order to further the UK national interest at this vital time”.

This agreement will remain in place for the length of this parliament, Foster said.

Read: DUP sign £1 billion deal to prop up Theresa May’s government and ‘enhance our precious union’

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