Sinn Fein says DUP, May deal a 'blank cheque' for damaging Brexit

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Sinn Fein says DUP, May deal a 'blank cheque' for damaging Brexit

Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) on Monday signed a deal with the Conservatives to support Prime Minister Theresa May's minority government in Britain.

It also provides 200 million pounds ($255 million) over two years to transform Northern Ireland's health service, 100 million pounds ($127 million) for immediate needs health and education.

The DUP said it would back the government in any confidence votes and to pass budgets, as well as supporting it on Brexit-related legislation.

Despite the initial misplaced focus on the implications of the DUP's stances on issues such as gay rights and abortion, the party's demands were always going to be overwhelmingly financial, as this deal confirms.

The Scotsman also leads with the story of the prime minister's deal with the DUP, pointing out that the pact to keep her in Downing Street cost her £100m per MP who pledged to vote with the government.

Powersharing at Stormont is the only fair way to distribute money from the DUP's deal with the Conservatives, Gerry Adams said.

Theresa May has defended her £1 billion deal with the Democratic Unionist Party amid Labour claims it will see most of the United Kingdom miss out on billions in additional funding for infrastructure and public services.

"We also share the desire to ensure a strong government, able to put through its programme and provide for issues like the Brexit negotiations, but also national security issues", May said.

Scotland's First Minister said the deal also raised questions for Scottish Secretary David Mundell, who previously said he "won't support funding which is deliberately sought to subvert the Barnett rules".

The stick is the glimpse into the alternative to Stormont - huge DUP influence in Westminster delivering tangibly for that party and presumably translating into electoral gains for Arlene Foster in Northern Ireland.

"We welcome the financial support of £1 billion in the next two years, as well as providing new flexibilities and nearly £500million previously committed to Northern Ireland".

The announcement of the agreement between the Conservatives and DUPs comes just days ahead of the deadline for the Northern Irish parties to form an Executive this Thursday, June 26.

Meanwhile, crunch talks to restore power-sharing in Northern Ireland were set to intensify today as a deadline for agreement looms.

Leaders in Scotland and Wales said their countries get little while Northern Ireland will receive a bonanza, while the DUP's rivals in Northern Ireland said the deal violates the Good Friday peace agreement and threatens the future of the power-sharing government there.

Under the confidence-and-supply agreement, about £1bn in "new money" has been earmarked for Northern Ireland, as well as greater flexibility over £500m already allocated to the country.

The deal itself is to last the length of the parliament, scheduled to last up to five years.

"The Conservative Party has recognized the case for higher funding in Northern Ireland given our unique history and circumstances over recent decades", DUP leader Foster told reporters in Downing Street. "At the weekend, David Mundell was indicating that he would not allow a situation where Northern Ireland received extra funding while Scotland did not".

Ms Sturgeon said: "In concluding this grubby, shameless deal, the Tories have shown that they will stop at nothing to hold on to power - even sacrificing the very basic principles of devolution".

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