DUP abstains from vote on May’s finance Bill

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Theresa May’s DUP allies have delivered a warning shot across the bows after accusing the British prime minister of breaking fundamental promises on Brexit.

The party joined with Labour to cut the government’s majority to just five in a Commons vote on the budget.

They also abstained on a series of other amendments to the Finance Bill on Monday night in a move intended to send a “political message” to Mrs May.

Their actions appeared to call into question the future of the “confidence and supply” arrangement by which the DUP props up Mrs May’s minority Conservative Government.

Under the terms of the deal, agreed after Mrs May lost her Commons majority in last year’s general election, the Northern Ireland party is supposed to back the government on budget matters and on confidence votes.

But DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson said Mrs May’s deal with Brussels breached a “fundamental” assurance that Northern Ireland would not be separated constitutionally or economically from the rest of the UK.

“We had to do something to show our displeasure,” he told BBC2’s Newsnight.

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