07:28 GMT +318 July 2019
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    Economy Boost, Airport Deal: What Northern Ireland Unionists Get From London

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    Details have emerged over the imminent announcement of the deal brokered between UK Prime Minister Theresa May and the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) of Northern Ireland, although the full announcement has been delayed because of the unfolding tragedy of the London tower block fire.

    Theresa May needs to come to an arrangement with the DUP in order to be able to get their ten members of parliament to add to her MPs in order to gain a majority in the House of Commons when voting on legislation.

    May had called a snap election in order to capitalize on disarray within the opposition Labour Party and gain a greater working majority in the House of Commons than she inherited from David Cameron. However, its backfired when the polls closed because of her poor performance and bad manifesto policies. She lost her majority and now needs to broker a deal with the DUP. 

    The deal May has brokered with the DUP leader Arlene Foster involves giving an economic boost to Northern Ireland, but agreeing to disagree on some social policy issues, including LGBT rights and same sex marriage.

    What is clear is that the DUP has managed to get broad agreement on a number of important economic points. These include a commitment by London to do more to attract Foreign Direct Investment into the province, improvement in connectivity between Northern Ireland and Great Britain — including a guarantee of direct access to London's hub airports.

    Border Issue

    Most importantly, with Northern Ireland having voted to remain in the EU while the UK as a whole voted out, the DUP has won agreement that will ensure a "frictionless" border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

    That border will become an external EU border after Brexit and there have been growing fears that any border controls would have a serious economic impact on both Northern Ireland and the Republic. The so-called "soft border" issue is also one of the top agenda items for Brussels in the upcoming Brexit negotiations. 

    Although there are likely to be some tensions between the Conservatives and the DUP, the two parties have now agreed broad consensus that will give May just enough room to run a government, although nothing like the way she wanted when she called the snap election.

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    Tags:
    Brexit negotiations, Brexit, UK election, British Conservative Party, Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), Arlene Foster, Theresa May, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, Ireland
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