Published: Sun, November 11, 2018
Sci-tech | By Jackie Newman

May faces fury of Irish allies over Brexit

May faces fury of Irish allies over Brexit

She spoke out after "frank" exchanges with Cabinet Office minister David Lidington on the differences between the Scottish and United Kingdom governments over their approach to exiting the European Union (EU).

And in a further blow to Prime Minister Theresa May, the DUP - who she relies upon to prop up her minority government - today accused her of "total betrayal" over her plans for the Irish border.

The Times reported that such a border is the EU's preferred option, after seeing a letter May sent to the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) saying she would not let this "come into force".

DUP leader Foster said in a letter to May that any backstop could not leave Northern Ireland aligned to specific sectoral European Union market regulations.

Arlene Foster says it has "raised alarm bells" as Mrs May appears "wedded to the idea of a border down the Irish Sea".

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

In the letter, obtained by the Times, Mrs May said: "I am clear that I could not accept there being any circumstances or conditions in which that "backstop to the backstop", which would break up the United Kingdom customs territory, could come in to force".

"When it comes to Northern Ireland it's very important to listen to, and have regard for, what the DUP has to say - but there are other political parties as well", Mr Varadkar added.

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Any version of the backstop would apply unless and until a wider UK-EU deal on the future relationship solved the issue of how to avoid a hard border with Ireland.

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".

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.

But DUP leaders said on Friday that Ms.

"It can not be negotiated downwards".

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.

In an interview with the BBC, Mrs Foster was asked did she trust the Prime Minister.

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.

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