This is quite simply a pathetic, grubby little deal demonstrating all the worst excesses of pork barrel politics, designed to prop up a Government without a majority and increasingly without any credibility whatsoever. We now know that £1.5 billion is the price that this country will have to pay to keep this shambolic Government in power. The Government warned of a “coalition of chaos”, but this is much, much worse than that, as the social conservatives in the DUP exact their price from the Government.
This deal is not subject to the normal allocation of funds across the UK, and it will be delivered at the expense of all the other nations of the UK. Only 24 hours ago the Secretary of State for Scotland was categorically assuring us that Scotland would be in line for full Barnett consequentials as a result of the DUP deal. Either he was inadvertently misleading the Scots people, or he is so completely out of the loop that he has no idea what is going on, because we now know that Scotland will get nothing—zero, zilch—out of this deal.
What representations has the First Secretary received from the Scotland Office or from any of the new Scottish Members of Parliament who laughably said that they would stand up for Scotland? If the Barnett formula is to be bypassed, what is Scotland going to get out of this? Why has the Barnett formula been bypassed by this deal? This is a huge test for the new Scottish Tory Members of Parliament. They can either stand up for Scotland and Scotland’s funding interests, or stand behind this chaotic Government and their new best friends.