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DUP threatens 'serious action' over Brexit

12 October, 2018, 10:57 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • A Brexit sign is seen between Donegal in the Republic of Ireland and Londonderry in Northern Ireland at the border village of Muff

The EU has launched a direct sales pitch to Northern Ireland businesses in an attempt to drive a wedge between the Democratic Unionist party and Theresa May over the backstop solution for the Irish border in Brexit negotiations.

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.

While London wants to regulate that by a future trade deal with the European Union, the bloc insists on an emergency fix in case negotiating new relations takes longer, or fails.

"I still believe it is possible that Brexit is stopped, I think there is no majority in parliament for any proposition that the prime minister brings back", Blair said, adding that he wanted a second referendum.

EU Brexit pointman Michel Barnier and Martin Selmayr, the powerful head of the EU Commission's bureaucracy, briefed commissioners on progress just a week before the October 18 meeting that has been dubbed a "moment of truth".

However, a small Northern Irish party which supports May's minority government in the Westminster parliament vehemently opposes any checks between the province and the rest of Britain.

Mrs Mordaunt refused to say she backs the Prime Minister's Chequers deal during an interview earlier this week with The Daily Telegraph.

But this could see checks on goods travelling from mainland Britain to Northern Ireland - what Foster described as "an effective one-way turnstile".

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Democratic Unionist Party Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson told Ireland's RTE radio on Thursday the party's 10 members of parliament would vote against the United Kingdom budget and would consider voting no-confidence in May if the British government crosses the DUP's red lines in Brexit talks.

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

Sir Ivan Rogers said there had been "culpable naivety" in the negotiations, and neither Theresa May nor Boris Johnson's plans had any chance of agreement by Brussels.

As that departure date creeps closer, pressure on May from various directions is intensifying.

By withdrawing its support, the DUP could make it hard for May to pass legislation through parliament, including the budget which will be voted on later this month.

The institute'sreport, highlighting the adverse impact of Brexit on the United Kingdom's services sector, notes the sectorhas driven three-fifths of the rise in UK exports over the past 20 years.

But he made clear that the European Union envisages a deal involving new customs and regulatory checks on goods travelling from Britain to Northern Ireland, including health and sanitary inspections for 100% of animals and animal products arriving in ports like Larne and Belfast from the rest of the UK.

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