Confidence and Supply Agreement between the Conservative and the Democratic Unionist Party June 26 2017

2017 General Election Results

Following the 2017 UK General Election the conservatives secured 317 seats out of 650, or 48.8% of the vote, which is 1.2% below the majority widely anticipated prior to the election.

Full breakdown of the vote was as follows:

Party   Seats Seats share of total +/- Votes Votes share of total
Conservatives   317 48.8% -13 13,635,584 42.3%
Labour   262 40.3% +30 12,878,460 40.0%
Scottish National Party   35 5.4% -21 977,569 3.0%
Liberal Democrats   12 18% +4 2,371,910 7.4%
Democratic Unionist Party   10 1.5% +2 292,316 0.9%
Sinn Fein   7 1.1% +3 238,915 0.7%
Plaid Cymru   4 0.6% +1 164,466 0.5%
Green Party   1 0.2% 525,435 1.6%
Speaker   1 0.2% 34,299 0.1%
Independent   1 0.2% 16,148 0.1%

Map of UK showing seats by winning party

On 9 June 2017, Theresa May apologised to the Conservative candidates who lost their seats and confirmed that she would remain as leader and prime minister, with the intention of forming a minority government with a supply and demand agreement with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).

Negotiations between the Conservative Party and the DUP started on 9 June, the Queens Speech took place on 21 June and a confidence and supply deal was reached on 26 June 2017.

Who are the DUP?

Leader: Arlene Foster

Deputy leader: Nigel Dodds

Political position: In the past the DUP has billed itself as “right-wing in the sense of being strong on the constitution”, but “to the left on social policy”

Size: It is the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fifth-largest party in the House of Commons with 10 seats

2017 manifesto key points

  • DUP wants to see a working Assembly and Executive as the best form of government for all our people.
  • We will judge any deal against five core tests set out in the manifesto.
  • We support the continued increases in the National Living Wage.
  • We will support proposals to further increase the personal tax allowance.
  • We support the maintenance of the pensions triple lock.
  • The DUP will resist any assault on important universal benefits.
  • We want to build a globally competitive economy.
  • We support the delivery of an ambitious new Industrial Strategy
  • We are committed to improving public services.
  • We support the continuation of the UK’s independent nuclear deterrent.
  • The DUP will resist attempts to rewrite the past.
  • The DUP will work to get the best deal for Northern Ireland as the UK leaves the European Union.
  • We are committed to see the development of a real respect agenda.

Summary of DUP Confidence and Supply Agreement (Updated 14 December 2017)

Conservstive and DUP Confidence and Supply Agreement. Arlene Foster and Theresa May DUP. Caricature Cartoon APT

DUP agrees to support government on:

  • All motions of confidence
  • Queen’s speech
  • Budget
  • Finance Bills
  • Supply and appropriation legislation and Estimates

DUP and Conservatives agree:

  • No change to Pensions Triple Lock
  • No change to the universal nature of the Winter Fuel Payment
  • NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on the armed forces
  • Commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the Parliament
  • Both parties will adhere fully to their respective commitments set out in the Belfast Agreement and its successors

Confidence and Supply agreement in the UK Parliament between the Conservatives and DUP (Updated 14 December 2017)

In accordance with our shared objectives for strengthening and enhancing the Union, security, prosperity and an exit from the European Union that benefits all parts of the United Kingdom, this letter sets out how the confidence and supply agreement reached between the Conservative Party and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will operate to deliver a stable government in the United Kingdom’s national interest for the duration of this Parliament.

Confidence and supply agreement in the UK Parliament

The DUP agrees to support the government on all motions of confidence; and on the Queen’s Speech; the Budget; finance bills; money bills, supply and appropriation legislation and Estimates.

In line with the parties’ shared priorities for negotiating a successful exit from the European Union and protecting the country in the light of recent terrorist attacks, the DUP also agrees to support the government on legislation pertaining to the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union; and legislation pertaining to national security.

Support on other matters will be agreed on a case by case basis.

The DUP agrees to support the government in votes in the UK Parliament, in line with this agreement.

Working arrangements

In furtherance of these arrangements, the government and the DUP will work together to ensure the necessary support can be established by both parties to fulfil these arrangements. A co-ordination committee will be convened for this purpose, chaired by the government. The parties will agree the modus operandi of this committee. The Northern Ireland Secretary will not sit on this committee.

Policy agreement

Both parties have agreed that there will be no change to the Pensions Triple Lock and the universal nature of the Winter Fuel Payment.

The parties agree to meet the NATO commitment of spending 2% of GDP on the armed forces. Both parties are committed to the Armed Forces Covenant and to its implementation throughout the United Kingdom.

Both parties agree to work together to consider options to support the highly successful reserve forces in Northern Ireland.

The parties recognise the importance of the agriculture sector to Northern Ireland and the opportunities for growth that exist. Agriculture will be a critical policy area during the EU exit negotiations.

The parties agree to continue to commit the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the Parliament. Further discussions will take place on the future framework for farming support.

Devolved government in Northern Ireland

As set out in its General Election manifesto the Conservative Party will never be neutral in expressing its support for the Union. As the UK government we believe that Northern Ireland’s future is best served within a stronger United Kingdom. We will always uphold the consent principle and the democratic wishes of the people of Northern Ireland. The Conservative Party will never countenance any constitutional arrangements that are incompatible with the consent principle.

Both parties will adhere fully to their respective commitments set out in the Belfast Agreement and its successors. The Conservative Party reiterates its steadfast support for the Belfast Agreement and its successors and, as the UK government, will continue to govern in the interests of all part of the community in Northern Ireland. The UK government will continue to support close co-operation with the Irish government, and work with them in accordance with the Belfast Agreement and subsequent agreements, while recognising that ultimate responsibility for political stability in Northern Ireland rests with the UK government.

The DUP recognises the need for early restoration of inclusive and stable devolved government in Northern Ireland and affirms its commitment to agreeing the formation of an Executive. The UK government will continue to work with the Northern Ireland parties and the Irish government towards this objective, in full accordance with the three-stranded approach.

Both parties agree on the need to recognise the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland’s history and the effect this has had on the economy and people from all parts of the community. Both parties agree the need for additional support for Northern Ireland as set out in the annex to this agreement.

It is the joint desire of both parties that the elements and provisions of this agreement will play a positive role in the efforts to re-establish devolved government for the benefit of all the people in Northern Ireland.

The DUP will have no involvement in the UK government’s role in political talks in Northern Ireland. It will continue to participate as a party entitled to form part of an Executive following the last Assembly election, as the other parties do.

Duration of agreement

The agreement reached will remain in place for the length of the Parliament, and can be reviewed by the mutual consent of both parties. After each Parliamentary session both parties will review the aims, principles and implementation of this agreement.

Summary of UK government financial support for Northern Ireland (Updated 14 December 2017)

£1 billion of financial support and flexibility for Northern Ireland including:

  • £200 million per year for 2 years for economy and infrastructure (£400m)
  • £75 million per year for 2 years for ultra-fast broadband (£150m)
  • £20 million per year for 5 years to tackle severe deprivation (£100m)
  • Additional £50 million per year for 2 years for health and education (£100m)
  • £100 million per year for 2 years for health service transformation (£200m)
  • £10 million per year for 5 years for mental health (£50m)

Theresa May and Arlene Foster. Conservative and DUP Confidence and Supply agreement financial support. caricature cartoon APT

UK government financial support for Northern Ireland (Updated 14 December 2017)

This section sets out the financial support the UK government would be prepared to make available to Northern Ireland, following discussions between the Conservative Party and the Democratic Unionist Party.

The UK government has made available up to £2.5 billion of financial support and flexibility for the Northern Ireland Executive over the course of the past 3 years, by virtue of the Stormont House and Fresh Start Agreements.

The UK government, however, recognises the unique circumstances of Northern Ireland’s history and the effect this has had on its economy and people from all parts of the community, while recognising too the need to be fair to all parts of the United Kingdom. Both parties re-affirm their commitment to the restoration of devolved government in Northern Ireland. Following discussions between them, and in order to support their shared objectives of strengthening the economy, the UK government is prepared to make available additional financial support to the power-sharing Executive.

Economy and infrastructure

The UK government supports further co-operation with the Northern Ireland Executive on infrastructure development in Northern Ireland. The UK government will allocate £200 million per year for 2 years and with sufficient flexibility as to the choice of project to ensure the Executive is able to deliver the York Street Interchange Project and other priorities. Both the UK government and the Executive recognise the integral part digital infrastructure in particular plays in opening up new opportunities for growth and connectivity for both businesses and consumers. In Northern Ireland, despite the increase in the availability of superfast broadband and mobile services, challenges remain. The UK government will therefore contribute £75 million per year for 2 years to help provide ultra-fast broadband for Northern Ireland.

These measures will reflect the joint commitment of the UK government and Northern Ireland’s Executive to support growth and infrastructure development in all parts of the UK.

The UK government is committed to ensuring the needs of Northern Ireland are properly reflected in the future UK Shared Prosperity Fund, which will benefit all parts of the UK.

The UK government supports greater cooperation with the Northern Ireland Executive to promote economic growth in Northern Ireland, looking at NI measures and UK-wide measures to promote growth and prosperity for all, for the public and private sector.

The UK government will work to utilise its networks of Embassies and High Commissions to promote Northern Ireland as a location for Foreign Direct Investment and ensure that Northern Ireland plays a full role in the UK government’s initiatives to boost exports.

The UK government is committed to greater numbers of public servant and government jobs moving out of London and the South East and being distributed across the UK.

The UK government notes that one of the first tasks for the new Executive will be to work towards the devolution of Corporation Tax rates, the timetable for its introduction, and how this might best be flexibly managed, with options being developed for Autumn Budget 2017.

The UK government is committed to working with the Executive and other stakeholders to work towards a comprehensive and ambitious set of city deals across Northern Ireland to boost investment and help unlock the full potential of Northern Ireland. We will also work towards a limited number of Enterprise Zones, subject to proposals demonstrating good value for money.

A detailed consultative report will be commissioned into the impact of VAT and APD on tourism in Northern Ireland to recommend how best to build upon the growing success of that sector.

In order to target pockets of severe deprivation so that all can benefit from growth and prosperity, the UK government will also provide £20 million per year for 5 years to support the Northern Ireland Executive to deliver this measure.

Health and education

The UK government recognises that Northern Ireland has unique circumstances within the United Kingdom, not least as a consequence of responding to the challenges of the past.

The UK government will, therefore, allocate an additional £50 million per year for 2 years to enable the Executive to address immediate pressure in health and education.

The UK government and Executive both share a commitment to providing health services which meet the needs of everyone, no matter who they are or where they live. Recognising the priority given by the Executive to health spending, its longstanding focus on securing a modern, sustainable health service in Northern Ireland, and in line with the UK government’s priority to increase health spending in this Parliament, the UK government will allocate £100 million per year for 2 years to support the Northern Ireland Executive’s delivery of its priority of health service transformation.

The UK government and Executive agree on the importance of support for mental health, particularly recognising the historical impact of Northern Ireland’s past on its communities. The UK government will provide £10 million per year for 5 years to support the Northern Ireland Executive to deliver this measure.

Flexibility with previous allocations

The UK government will permit any remaining funding from previous allocations for shared education and housing to be dispersed flexibly within this Spending Review period.

Legacy

The UK government will work with the Executive and all parties to seek the implementation of the legacy bodies in the Stormont House Agreement, to provide better outcomes for victims and survivors. The next phase is a public consultation on implementation of the Stormont House Agreement legacy bodies. These are to be established so as to operate in ways that are fair, balanced and proportionate and which do not unfairly focus on former members of the armed forces or police. Both parties reiterate their admiration for the courage and sacrifice of the police and armed forces in upholding democracy and the rule of law and will never forget the debt of gratitude that we owe them.

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