Northern Irish Party of 10 Lawmakers Holds Sway Over Brexit


Prime Minister Theresa May will be depending on the ten DUP members of the British parliament from Northern Ireland to prop up the Conservative government after she lost the Tory majority in yesterday's election by eight seats.

British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government at 11:30 GMT on Friday.

In a short statement outside Downing Street after an audience with the Queen, May said she would join with her DUP "friends" to "get to work" on Brexit.

May said: "The government I lead will put fairness and opportunity at the heart of everything we do so that we will fulfill the promise of Brexit together over the next five years and that no one and no community will be left behind".

An online petition in objection to the Tories and DUP forming a minority government has so far gathered more than 400,000 signatures.

European Union leaders expressed fears that May's shock loss of her majority would delay the Brexit talks, due to begin on June 19, and so raise the risk of negotiations failing.

George Osborne, the former chancellor, said he expected a Tory government to be the most likely outcome from the highly unpredictable election, not least because Mrs May could count on the support of about 10 Northern Ireland Unionists.

While Sinn Fein, the SDLP and Alliance all called for some form of special designated European Union status for Northern Ireland after the United Kingdom exits, the Democratic Unionists and Ulster Unionists steadfastly opposed anything that differentiated the region from Great Britain.

More news: Gulf states announce humanitarian hotline for mixed Qatari families

The Jeremy Corbyn-led Opposition Labour party performed better than most forecasts, making considerable gains from the Tories to snatch the Conservative majority of 331 from the last general election.

It's a huge embarrassment for May, who called the early election with the aim of shoring up support for the Conservatives ahead of the country's crucial Brexit negotiations.

Sinn Fein says former nationalist guerrillas and military personnel must be treated equally, and has accused the DUP of attempting to give immunity to former British soldiers accused of torture.

May confirmed she meant to start talks with the Europeans on June 19 as planned, promising to "get to work".

"As we're the party that won the most seats and most votes we are the only party in a position to form a government".

As things stand, it looks as if the two parties will work together under an informal arrangement rather than an official coalition, with the DUP supporting the Conservatives on key votes, such as the budget.

Northern Ireland remained part of the United Kingdom when the rest of Ireland gained independence from Britain in 1922.

Casualties include the party's deputy leader Angus Robertson, and former SNP leader and party heavyweight Alex Salmond. They won 13 seats on June 8 in Scotland, up from a paltry one in 2015, when the Scottish National Party swept all before them.