In the spirit of maintaining a ‘strong and stable’ Britain, the coalition between The Conservatives and The Democratic Unionist Party resulted in £1billion in spending being secured for Northern Ireland’s budget.
After making this deal with the DUP Mrs May’s actions have been criticized arguing that this payment has the potential to jeopardize the peace process’ in Northern Ireland, which first began being negotiated after the IRA ceasefire- signaling end of the Irish ‘troubles’.
The Good Friday Agreement was signed by the Irish and British Governments as well as eight political parties from Northern Ireland, including Sinn Féin, - which is heavily associated with the IRA (Provisional Irish Republican Army). The whole peace process movement was centered on rebuilding a working relationship between neighbours and moving towards fixing issues. Civil and cultural rights as well as weapons decommissioning was negotiated and discussed together with the political power relationships and their equality.
The DUP did show their power and position in peace negotiations relevant to Northern Ireland when they refused to sign some of the peace process documentation. The reason behind this was because they believed that Sinn Féin members held both parliamentary positions as well as roles within the IRA Army Council, the DUP argued this was both bias and conflicting and ultimately defeated the whole concept of the peace process’ - resolving conflicts in a peaceful manner. It is interesting to note the DUP’s rejection of these negotiations due to reasons of conflicting ideals however in recent agreements they are unopposed to what some argue is modern impartiality.
This two-fold agreement was created to resolve the differences and conflicts between the British and Irish government (British-Irish Agreement) as well as the disagreements between the main Northern Irish parties which they called the Multi-party Agreement. The British government are supposed to act almost like a guarantor ensuring peace between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, they have a responsibility to be completely fair to both Nations and remain impartial.
Both the Labour party and Sinn Féin have voiced opinions about the Good Friday Agreement and how current negotiations have the potential to threaten the progress that has already been made. This agreement was made and validated because the British agreed to be impartial; it is a fundamental factor for this system to function effectively.
By giving so much funding to Northern Ireland anxieties around the future of these peace negotiations are rising. It has been said that Theresa May has now undermined decades of work towards a more united British Isles as this jeopardizes the functionality of the Good Friday Agreement. But ultimately only time can tell the true, knock-on effect of this deal. So watch this space.