Northern Irish DUP rallies opposition to PM Theresa May's 'pitiful' Brexit deal

April FrancisNov 28, 2018

In her leader's speech, Ms Foster told DUP delegates that while she believes Theresa May is "genuine" in her desire to protect the Union, the draft deal fails to do that.

Despite the row, Mrs Foster said the DUP's confidence and supply agreement with the Conservatives remained "live".

As EU leaders endorsed the proposed withdrawal treaty in Brussels, Foster made clear there were no circumstances under which her party would vote for it when it comes before the House of Commons.

She said: 'We are not talking about political theory, but the reality of people's lives and livelihoods.

Mrs Foster suggested opposition to Mrs May's deal at Westminster was "coalescing" around the Irish border backstop proposal - the controversial measure that could see Northern Ireland operate under a different regulatory regime to the rest of the United Kingdom to ensure a free-flowing border.

"Rather than waste any more time putting forward false choices, we need the Government to get on with securing a better deal", he will say.

"If the Conservatives want to continue to enjoy the support of the DUP they need to remove the backstop".

The Northern Irish party keeping British Prime Minister Theresa May's Government afloat launched fresh attacks on her Brexit withdrawal deal on Saturday, saying it would leave Britain in a "pitiful" place and a Labour government might be preferable.

In reference to claims by a senior civil servant that minutes of important meetings were not taken to avoid later disclosure, Mrs Foster said: "Proper records must be kept and we must recognise that greater transparency will add value to public debate".

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"We will vote against it if its brought to parliament", Foster told Ireland's RTE television in an interview from the conference, in her most direct comments on the issue to date.

"But we're not there yet, and we're not going to jump ahead until we see what happens in parliament".

'What we should do is wait to see what develops in that respect'.

Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill said that anyone who thinks there is a "plan B" Brexit deal is living in a fantasy world.

Spain said Friday it wouldn't back the divorce deal United Kingdom and European Union leaders are supposed to vote on during Sunday's summit in Brussels after language regarding Gibraltar didn't appear in a draft agreement. If people are looking to Dublin for representation in Europe because we're the subject of EU rules that is so unsafe in terms of the Union.

While a Corbyn government is "not a pleasant scenario", a Brexit that carves Northern Ireland from Britain is worse, she was quoted as saying.

The country would inevitably begin to diverge from its largest market, the rest of the United Kingdom, if it remained part of the EU's customs code under the backstop arrangement, the DUP leader will declare before massed crowds of supporters in Belfast. "Those things are kept in the national parliament and what this document does, what the worldwide treaty that has just been agreed today does, is make a difference between us in terms of those global issues and I think that's very important to us".

Her DUP has prided itself on its relationship with business leaders, but those links have been strained by the support many of them have voiced for the draft UK-EU deal in recent days.

"I really do understand that she is a unionist, that she wants to get the best deal, but actually what this deal does is go against everything she has said around all of that".

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