May's Northern Irish Ally Fires Warning Shot Over Brexit Deal
(Bloomberg) -- Democratic Unionist Party lawmakers refused to vote for U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May’s Finance Bill on Monday evening, flexing their muscles ahead of her crunch Brexit vote.
The 10 DUP lawmakers in Westminster abstained and voted against amendments to the Treasury’s Finance Bill, ignoring a deal they have with May to back her minority Conservative government.
The so-called “confidence and supply’’ agreement means the DUP should vote with May, essentially giving her a parliamentary majority on key legislation.
The DUP calculated that voting against the government will help persuade May into changing her Brexit plan. Leader Arlene Foster and her colleagues have been highly critical of the deal because it imposes a different set of rules on Northern Ireland.
While the government still won all of the votes Monday evening, the DUP’s refusal to back them will be taken as a warning shot: May needs to the DUP to get the 320 votes she needs to get her Brexit plan through Parliament. On Monday one amendment almost failed to pass with the government winning by just five votes.
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