Science

Brexit: DUP accuses May of breaking promises on Irish border

Brexit: DUP accuses May of breaking promises on Irish border

Theresa May faces a fresh Brexit headache after DUP leader Arlene Foster said the British prime minister's Irish border plans "raises alarm bells".

The First Minister was speaking following a meeting of the British-Irish Council on the Isle of Man, which was also attended by Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones and Ireland's Leo Varadkar.

The DUP, the Northern Irish party on whose parliamentary votes May relies to keep her in power, cast her Brexit negotiation as a betrayal earlier on Friday because it believes it could allow Northern Ireland to be separated from the UK.

But both Mr Lidington and Ireland's Leo Varadkar suggested a deal could be reached between the United Kingdom and European Union in the coming weeks.

'If a deal emerges shaped on the contents of the PM's letter, DUP MPs & our allies will not support it, ' Wilson later tweeted.

DUP leader Arlene Foster (right) with DUP MP Nigel Dodds.

The DUP has interpreted the wording of her letter to mean that specific Northern Ireland measures will be contained in the Brexit divorce deal despite Mrs May's assurances.

Sammy Wilson, the representative of the party for Brexit, said: "From this letter it is clear that the government has decided on a plan reverse for Northern Ireland".

The five page letter was sent three days ago - in response to a letter from the DUP outlining the party's expectations for a Brexit deal.

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The EU has insisted on a Northern Ireland-only "backstop to the backstop" in case negotiations on a wider United Kingdom approach break down.

It states that the EU has proposed a contingency plan to keep Northern Ireland tied to Brussels' customs union and single market if future trade talks are unsuccessful.

He added: "I think it's more likely than not that we will be able to conclude an agreement. before the end of the year but lots of things can go wrong".

A Downing Street spokesman said the prime minister would not agree to "anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland".

"And we'll do our best to work through it and make sure we get the best outcome for our citizens".

"There is no clean break here, Brexit is going to go on for a very long time".

"From her letter, it appears the PM is wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea with NI in the EU SM regulatory regime".

As we enter the endgame of the Brexit negotiation process, all pro-Remain parties must continue to represent the demand for our rights and political processes to be protected and the onus is firmly on the Dublin Government and the European Union 27 to ensure Theresa May is held accountable to the agreement she made in December.


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