Thursday, 15 November, 2018

Theresa May's no-deal Brexit plan 'raises alarm bells', says DUP leader

DUP politician Sammy Wilson Image Mr Wilson said the PM had gone back on 'the promises she made'
Steven Clarke | 10 November, 2018, 22:23

"We are still in negotiations, and on that basis we don't know when and if this will conclude", a spokesman said, adding that a much-rumoured Cabinet meeting to allow ministers to sign off the deal had not been scheduled.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) interpreted a promise made by May in a letter that she would never let a division of the United Kingdom "to come into force" as an admission that such a clause would be included in a final deal, the Times reported.

The response of the DUP has caused frustration in Downing Street, with sources insisting that Mrs May was not hiding behind "weasel words" and had stressed that she would not accept a deal which saw Northern Ireland hived off.

The DUP leader, Arlene Foster, tweeted on Friday: "The PM's letter raises alarm bells for those who value the integrity of our precious union & for those who want a proper Brexit for the whole UK".

The leak of the letter is seen by some observers, as well as the DUP, as part of a laying of the ground by May for a showdown with the party over checks in British ports or factories in Northern Ireland or Britain.

Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said the British government needed to honour its commitments to avoid a hard border rather than promises made to the DUP.

In extracts published by The Times, the prime minister's letter refers to European Union demands for the proposed Brexit backstop arrangement to avoid a hard border on the island of Ireland.

Mattis Supports Riyadh's Refusal of US Refuelling of Coalition Aircraft in Yemen
US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis confirmed the decision was made in consultation with the US government. The death toll has not been updated in years, however, and is likely to be far higher.

May depends on the 10 DUP MP votes for a majority in Westminster and will likely need them for any vote on a deal she strikes with Brussels.

He said the most important objective is to give everyone in Ireland, North and South "the assurance that a hard border will not develop... no matter what else may happen in the years ahead".

"The fact is that Theresa May signed up to the Irish backstop in December and that remains the bottom line in order to prevent a hard border and safeguard our political and economic stability now and for the future", he said.

Speaking at the British-Irish Council summit in the Isle of Man today, Mr Varadkar said he was hopeful the United Kingdom could strike a deal with Brussels before the end of the year despite continuing concerns over the future of the Irish border.

Earlier, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said he still believes a Brexit deal can be done in the coming weeks but warned that "lots of things can go wrong".

Ms Sturgeon also said that if a deal proposed by the UK Government can not command a majority in the House of Commons, it should not mean that departing the European Union with no deal is "inevitable".

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