Frankie Wildish | Contributing Writer | Monday, 11 September 2017

Parliament Will Vote On £1bn DUP Deal

Parliament Will Vote On £1bn DUP Deal

The Debrief: Jonathan Jones, Treasury solicitor, says £1bn DUP deal needs to be voted on

The £1bn promised to the Democratic Unionist Party by Theresa May in her bid to form support for her minority Conservative government will have to be approved by parliament, government has confirmed.

The Treasury solicitor Jonathan Jones has said that the release of funds to the Northern Irish party will need to have ‘appropriate parliamentary authorisation’ but added that no timetable had been set for the transfer. This was decided in response to a legal letter from Gina Miller, a campaigner who has been holding the government to account over Brexit for the past year, which challenged the legal basis for releasing the funds. Miller argued that May should have made it clear all along that the deal would need to be voted on in parliament, writing, ’it beggars belief that, neither at the time the government sealed its dubious deal with the DUP in exchange for their votes in the Commons, nor at any point since, has the government made it clear that the £1bn of taxpayers’ money for Northern Ireland could only be handed over following parliamentary approval.’

The news of a parliament vote over the taxpayer’s cash transfer will come as a small relief to the thousands who opposed the deal when it was announced after the shock General Election result in June, which saw the Conservative Party lose 22 seats. Constituents took to social media to share a template which could be used to write to your local MP opposing the £1bn deal.

The DUP’s extreme views on removing women’s rights to abortion, bringing back the death penalty, and teaching creationism as scientific fact in schools are seen by many as regressive and is the reason for some Tory MPs expressing concerns over the Prime Minister’s deal.

While still no money has been exchanged in the three months since the election, we’re yet to find out if the promised parliament vote will see the DUP receive the cash - another factor of the Brexit process that nobody has a solid answer for.

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