In response to several constituents who have got in touch with me expressing their heartfelt concerns about the proposed supply and confidence deal between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party, I wish to set out my own thoughts on the prospective arrangement.
After the inconclusive outcome of last Thursday’s General Election it is imperative that the administration of the nation’s government is stable and, for the sake of UK business, large and small, and our key diplomatic relationships this requires certainty. On that basis I am comfortable that my Party has come to a loose supply and confidence arrangement with the DUP.
However, whilst respecting that policy over a range of social issues is devolved within that province, I also agree wholeheartedly with Ruth Davidson, the leader of the Conservatives in Scotland, that on a range of devolved social issues such as LGBT rights, the DUP must not be allowed to have any influence on policy within Great Britain in these areas. Naturally, it is also important that the workings of this informal arrangement must at all times be compatible with the UK government’s international commitments regarding the ongoing Northern Irish peace process.
Please be assured that I shall be keeping this matter under constant review. Accordingly I will not hesitate to speak up if I regard the supply and confidence arrangement (whereby the DUP agrees to support the government on budgeting and confidence issues) as detrimental to the national interest, or my belief in the socially liberal values I know to be close to the heart of so many of my constituents.