From Daily Mirror: Theresa May faces a furious new threat to topple her over Brexit by the end of the *month* as tensions boil over.
From The Independent: DUP leader Arlene Foster has said the Good Friday Agreement is not “sacrosanct”, insisting the landmark peace treaty could be altered to accommodate a Brexit deal.
From The Guardian: Theresa May will oppose plans to let MPs vote to liberalise Northern Ireland’s oppressive abortion laws, Downing Street has signalled.
The landslide vote in favour of liberalising abortion laws in the Irish Republic has put the spotlight on Northern Ireland, which will be the only place in Britain and Ireland where abortion is in most circumstances illegal. The 1967 Abortion Act was never extended to the region, and abortion is only allowed if the life or mental health of the mother is at risk.
From Belfast Telegraph: Sinn Fein MP Francie Molloy has described proposed changes to Northern Ireland’s electoral boundaries as “gerrymandering to placate the DUP”.
An official map obtained by the Press Association shows changes to electoral seats in Northern Ireland to facilitate a reduction from 18 seats to 17 – something which comes as part of an overall reduction in parliamentary seats from 650 to 600.
“The Boundary Commission proposed and consulted on new electoral boundaries in 2016 as part of an overall plan to reduce the number of MPs here from 18 to 17,” Mr Molloy said.
“Unsurprisingly, the DUP rejected the plan despite the fact that the proposals reflected the terms and remit under which the Boundary Commission was established.”
From The Guardian: Theresa May’s political weakness was brutally exposed to Brussels on Monday, as an agreement struck between Britain and the EU to solve the problem of the Irish border and move to the next phase of Brexit talks was torpedoed by a last-minute telephone call with the leader of the DUP.
Confidence early on Monday that an agreement was within reach came to nothing when, during a working lunch with the European commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, May was forced to pause discussions to take a call from Arlene Foster.
The unionist leader, whose party currently provides the Tories with a working majority in the Commons, told the British prime minister that she could not support Downing Street’s planned commitment to keep Northern Ireland aligned with EU laws.
Theresa May prevaricates when asked why the Magic Money Tree bloomed for the DUP’s £1bn but not for nurses’ pay
Have you felt a tiny twang of sympathy for Theresa May recently? Lose it instantly by watching this interview
Jon Snow asks her why the Magic Money Tree bloomed to fund the £1 billion deal with the DUP to keep the Tories in power, while we’re told nothing can done about the public sector pay cap.
"You can pluck a billion out and give it to the DUP but you can't do anything with the nurses?" Jon Snow questions Prime Minister Theresa May on her spending priorities; she says the nurses' pay review body will be given flexibility.
Posted by Channel 4 News Democracy on Tuesday, October 3, 2017
From The Guardian: The Conservative/DUP deal is intended to serve three functions: to keep the Tories in power; to ensure that Brexit gets through Parliament; and to get the Northern Ireland power-sharing agreement back on track.
The deal says:
Agreement between the Conservative and Unionist party and the Democratic Unionist party on support for the government in parliament
It means: “We are all Unionists and already had much in common; this deal is a natural progression between old friends.” (Let’s overlook the awkward fact that the Tories are dumping their more centrist colleagues in the Ulster Unionist party.)
From NME: The 2017 general election resulted in a hung parliament, because Labour’s huge gains obliterated the Tories’ majority. The irony is delicious: Theresa May’s only option now has been to form a ‘coalition of chaos’, the phrase she used to belittle Labour and her other opponents throughout the election.
The only party that had enough seats and hadn’t pre-emptively rejected a coalition with the Tories was Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party. If you don’t know who they are, here’s what you need to know.
What does the DUP stand for?
1. They oppose the advancement of LGBT rights
2. They oppose abortion
3. They have a history of climate change denial
4. In 2011 the DUP called for the return of the death penalty
5. Their leader is under fire for an embarrassingly expensive mistake