3 July 2017 Edition
Theresa May finds ‘money tree’ to buy DUP support for Conservatives
‘A blank cheque for a Tory Brexit that threatens the Good Friday Agreement’ – Gerry Adams
‘What a fool I was. I was only a puppet – and so was Ulster, and so was Ireland – in that political game that was to get the Conservative Party into power’ – Sir Edward Carson in 1921, quoted by Gerry Adams
BRITISH TORY Prime Minister Theresa May has sealed a deal with DUP leader Arlene Foster for the unionists to prop up the Tory minority government in power at Westminster in return for an investment package in the North of Ireland of £1billion (around €1.14billion) over the next two years plus other measures.
“The devil is in the detail,” Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams TD said as he described the deal on Monday 26 June as “a blank cheque for a Tory Brexit that threatens the Good Friday Agreement”.
The long-term price of the deal is DUP support for “continued Tory austerity and cuts to public services” with Arlene Foster’s commitment to support the Tory Government on all motions of confidence, on the Queen’s Speech, the Budget, finance bills, money bills, supply and appropriation legislation and estimates, and all legislation pertaining to British national security and Brexit.
Gerry Adams said at Stormont during negotiations to restore the Executive that any money which comes into the North to offset the damage already done by Tory austerity is welcome. He pointed out, however, that the Tory Government has slashed more than £1billion from the North’s block grant over the last seven years.
“The allocation of additional funds could help to ease the enormous pressure on our public services. The devil is in the detail,” he said.
“If, as they claim in today’s agreement, both the Tories and the DUP will adhere fully to the Good Friday Agreement and its successors, they need to deliver on this for the political institutions to be restored.
“There is work to be done by the DUP and only limited time to do this,” the Sinn Féin leader said as the deadline loomed as An Phoblacht went to press.
Gerry Adams continued:
“Sinn Féin will continue to prioritise the establishment of a credible, sustainable Executive which deals with all the challenges facing our society, including the failure to implement previous agreements.
“Sinn Féin will vigorously pursue the rights of citizens currently being denied by the DUP and the British Government.
“We are committed to equality. Sinn Féin will resolutely oppose any attempt to give preferential treatment to British forces, either in terms of legacy or the provision of public services,” he said in a reference to speculation about the Armed Forces Covenant which stands in contravention of the equality provisions of the Good Friday Agreement.
The Sinn Féin leader added:
“If, as they claim in today’s agreement, both the Tories and the DUP will fully adhere fully to the Good Friday Agreement and its successors, they need to deliver on this for the political institutions to be restored.
“So, there is work to be done by the DUP and only limited time to do this.
“As they return to Ireland to meet with Sinn Féin and the other parties, the DUP should be minded of the words of Edward Carson speaking in 1921 on the Tory intrigues that had led him on a course that would partition Ireland,” Gerry Adams said.
And the Sinn Féin leader quoted the words of the unionist icon as food for thought for the DUP:
“What a fool I was. I was only a puppet – and so was Ulster, and so was Ireland – in that political game that was to get the Conservative Party into power.”