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過半数に達しなかったが、大敗したわけでもないメイ政権が連立を模索する相手が北アイルランドの政党、Democratic Unionist party。


From climate denial to abortion: six DUP stances you should know about

Theresa May’s new ally in government, Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist party, is in favour of a soft Brexit, wishes to maintain a porous border with the Irish republic but also holds illiberal positions on abortion and gay rights.

The party, which gained two seats in the general election to hold 10 altogether, has not yet outlined what it might want from a formal deal with the Tories – but the prime minister said in her speech outside Downing Street that she could rely on her “friends and allies” from the party founded by Ian Paisley Sr.

The party, founded in 1971, maintains its socially Conservative positions but has been transformed into an efficient political force by successive leaders since Paisley stepped down in 2008.

Brexit and the Irish border
The DUP campaigned for Brexit but its manifesto argued for maintaining a “seamless and frictionless” border with Ireland. Objectives for the forthcoming Brexit negotiations included maintaining the Common Travel Area with the Republic and ease of trade throughout the EU.

Welfare spending
The manifesto retained the pensions “triple lock” and universal winter fuel allowance, both policies the Tories pledged to drop.

Opposition to same-sex marriage
While the party has changed radically since its beginnings, it has always maintained an opposition to socially liberal reforms which have taken place on the UK mainland.

Northern Ireland is the only remaining part of the UK where same-sex marriage is not legal after the DUP used a controversial veto mechanism to block any change to legislation. Senior figures in the party have called the issue a “red line” for power-sharing talks at Stormont.

The DUP has fought hard to halt an extension of abortion rights to Northern Ireland. Campaigners say their actions have forced thousands of women to travel elsewhere for terminations, or to rely on abortion pills bought online.

Climate denial
While climate change scepticism is not official party “policy”, the DUP has previously appointed a denier as environment minister in Northern Ireland, and it counts a number of creationists among its senior members.

Much focus will now fall upon the party’s leader, Arlene Foster, a tough character whose politics were influenced by the Troubles. At the age of eight, her father, a part-time policeman, was shot and injured by the IRA on the family farm.


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