DUP step up warning to May not to compromise on border

Theresa May looking isolated in Salzburg

Theresa May looking isolated in Salzburg

Former Cabinet minister Iain Duncan Smith has warned Theresa May to "listen very carefully" to the DUP's warnings they could vote against her Budget if she crosses their Brexit red lines.

Britain's worldwide trade, environment and Brexit ministers told Prime Minister Theresa May at a meeting on Thursday that they are concerned the whole of Britain could remain in the customs union for an open-ended period of time, the BBC said.

He said no deal would "quite simply be a disaster for business in Northern Ireland", where consumers already have half the disposable income of households in Britain.

Among those due to attend today's War Cabinet are: the Prime Minister's effective deputy David Lidington; Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary; Sajid Javid, the Home Secretary; Liam Fox, the International Trade Secretary; Greg Clark, the Business Secretary; Michael Gove, the Environment Secretary, and Gavin Williamson, the Defence Secretary. He called British Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab "able and highly intelligent".

The DUP has warned it will vote against any deal that involves checks between Northern Ireland and Britain, with Sammy Wilson, the DUP MP for East Antrim, accusing the European Union of performing a "confidence trick" on May.

"In breaking her promises she would be agreeing to break up the United Kingdom", Sammy Wilson said.

Barnier is attempting to negotiate such a deal, but time is running out and European Union leaders have made it clear that they expect Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May to come up with a way to unblock talks before next week.

But diplomats told Reuters hopes were high that a breakthrough on the Brexit deal would be made on Monday.

In addition, Northern Ireland would remain under large parts of single market regulations, requiring enhanced checks on products arriving from Britain, particularly agricultural goods.

The backstop plan being proposed by Mrs May would involve the whole of the United Kingdom remaining in a customs union with the EU while negotiations over a free trade deal take place, which Brexiteers fear could take years.

"She will not have DUP support regardless of whether the government tries to bribe, bully or browbeat us into accepting it", Wilson also said.

Barnier earlier in the day briefed European Union commissioners on the negotiations. Michael Russell will be there representing the Scottish Government and is expected to once again sound the alarm about the damage to Scotland's economy a hard or no-deal Brexit would do.

The DUP agreed a "confidence and supply" deal to support Mrs May after last year's general election and losing the party's support in the Commons would mean possible defeat on the budget at the end of October and a no-confidence vote.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.