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DUP deal with Tories will put pressure on Sinn Féin

Now we know the DUP's price for propping up Theresa May's Conservative government but the issue is what will be the long term cost of a deal forged out of the prime minister's desperate bid to cling to office.

Mrs May now has in place a confidence and supply agreement which will see the ten DUP MPs support the government on the budget, financial legislation and on measures contained in the Queen's speech.

Crucially, their arrangement specifically says the DUP agrees to support the Tories on Brexit legislation - the precise details of which remain unknown to Arlene Foster's party and the wider public.

Is the DUP really going to vote for measures that increase the likelihood of a hard border and disruptive and divisive customs controls?

Brexit is obviously central to Mrs May's legislative programme for the next two years and her party will be pulled in a number of directions as it negotiates a final settlement.

The DUP's idea of what is in the best interests of Northern Ireland may not necessarily be in tune with the Tory vision for the UK or even with the majority in the north who voted to Remain.

While that hugely important issue is unclear, there was at least some detail on the financial deal negotiated by the DUP and Downing Street.

There is no doubt the prospect of additional public spending during a period of tightened Stormont budgets will be widely welcomed in Northern Ireland.

Many people will agree that money for the York Street interchange and to help deliver reforms in the health service, including specific funds for mental health, is a positive development.

We have felt the impact of austerity measures - inflicted by the Tory government - so any money that provides jobs, improves the lives of people and makes Northern Ireland more attractive to investors, will of course be welcomed although some elements of the support package need to be carefully scrutinised.

The question is will there be an executive in place to ensure this money is properly and fairly allocated to achieve maximum benefit for all citizens?

Certainly, this deal is likely to increase pressure on Sinn Féin to go back into a power-sharing partnership although the party will not want to be seen dancing to the DUP's tune.

There is also the bigger picture in terms of the Tory government which is now being assailed by the devolved administrations in Scotland and Wales, who are understandably outraged by the money being showered on Northern Ireland.

Theresa May has bought herself some time but has created difficulties elsewhere which will be fully exploited by the opposition parties.

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