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Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May secures crucial deal

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Posted at 7:07 AM, Jun 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-26 07:07:56-04

Britain's embattled Prime Minister Theresa May has finally secured a governing majority in the UK Parliament after agreeing a deal with a political party with 10 MPs from Northern Ireland.

The deal with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) will ensure the government's Queens Speech and budget passes through Parliament.

Arlene Foster, leader of the DUP, was pictured signing the deal with May at Downing Street.

Some critics have warned that the arrangement risks peace in Northern Ireland because it ties the UK government to one side in the peace process.

May's Conservative Party lost its parliamentary majority at the country's general election earlier this month and faced the unappealing prospect of forming a minority government.

The move will be met with huge relief in May's administration. May had faced a turbulent few weeks since suffering the setback of failing to achieve an overall majority in the election.

May called the snap election three years before legally required to do so in an effort to secure a mandate which she said would strengthen her position going into Brexit talks.

Opinion polls suggested she would win handily; but her campaign faltered, and she was left with fewer MPs than she started with. The result left May with no option but to secure a deal with a minority party in order to pass her legislative agenda through Parliament and avoid a vote of no confidence.

May's pursuit of the DUP has raised concerns across the political spectrum, even within her own party. Ruth Davidson, leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, sought assurances that LGBT rights would be protected after any deal with the DUP, which opposes same-sex marriage as well as abortion.

May under pressure

May has faced pressure on several fronts. A spate of terror attacks in the UK has stretched security services' resources, leading to questions over cuts to police budgets that she presided over when she was Home Secretary.

She has also been heavily criticized in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the tower block fire which killed at least 79 people.

The UK government's proposals for the rights of EU nationals after Brexit were deemed "not sufficient" by President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker.