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New Deal to Form UK Gov’t

New Deal to Form UK Gov’tNew Deal to Form UK Gov’t

British Prime Minister Theresa May agreed on Monday to a deal with a small and conservative Northern Irish party to prop up her minority government after more than two weeks of negotiations.

The UK elections on June 8 left May’s Conservative Party eight seats short of the 326 needed to form an outright majority government. The result led to weeks of talks between May’s party and the Democratic Unionist Party, which has just 10 elected lawmakers—enough to give the conservatives a slim house majority, CNBC News reported.

The agreement comes after a disastrous month for May, whose failed gamble with a snap election backfired. The conservatives wanted to increase her party’s majority before going into formal Brexit negotiations with the European Union. Prior to the election, the conservatives held 331 seats and led the left-wing Labour Party by some 20 points in the polls.

But the subsequent result contradicted the polls and saw huge Labour gains and Conservative losses, forcing May into the humiliating situation of being forced to strike deals.

The 1-billion-pound ($1.274 billion) agreement is known as a confidence and supply arrangement, meaning that the DUP will vote with the conservatives on key votes in parliament.

The agreement was vital for May to be able to pass the comprehensive legislation needed over the next two years as the UK exits the EU. The DUP supports the UK’s exit from the EU, but is against a hard border with its neighbor to the south, the Republic of Ireland.

Caption: British Prime Minister Theresa May (L) greets Arlene Foster, leader of Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, outside 10 Downing St. in London on June 26.

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