DUP 'will vote against government budget if Brexit red lines breached'

DUP 'will vote against government budget if Brexit red lines breached'

In an explicit threat to the prime minister, DUP sources made clear that they will vote against the government's budget - regarded as a confidence motion - if she agrees to a muted backstop agreement with the EU.

"The Prime Minister understands that position and I expect her to respect that position".

Barnier said Brexit would trigger the need for customs, Value-Added Tax and compliance checks with EU standards between Ireland and Northern Ireland in the event that a planned "backstop" were triggered because a future EU-UK trade deal was not sufficient in itself to ensure the land frontier was not a "hard border".

The party's 10 MPs have propped up the Tory government since May lost her Commons majority in the snap general election past year.

She claimed under the European Union position, there could be scores of checks on live animals and food products travelling within the UK.

In a statement to the Commons updating MPs following a summit of EU leaders in Salzburg last month, Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab denied the United Kingdom would stay in the customs union indefinitely, and said the government would "press our case" for an outcome that will "preserve the integrity of the UK".

She said regulatory checks as part of the backstop could mean Northern Irish milk being processed in England and turned into yoghurt or protein drinks facing checks when they came back into Northern Ireland.

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But veterinary and food security controls will have to take place at the border.

Davis wrote: "If we stay on our current trajectory we will go into the next election with the government having delivered none of the benefits of Brexit, with the country reduced to being a rule-taker from Brussels, and having failed to deliver on a number of promises in the manifesto and in the Lancaster House speech".

Speaking to business leaders in Brussels, Mr Barnier said negotiators were "intensively" working to find a deal.

The UK government has responded to the DUP's position by working on plans for an alternative backstop which would see the whole of the UK remain in the customs union - but that's opposed by some of May's own MPs.

"My estimate is that there are at least 40 colleagues who are not going to accept a "half in, half out" Chequers deal or indeed a backstop that leaves us in the internal market and the customs union".

The prime minister's spokesperson said government officials are in "intensive" talks with European Union negotiators in order to resolve the Irish border issue, which is the last major outstanding issue in the draft Withdrawal Agreement.

Earlier in the day, she told BBC Radio Ulster that it is "eminently possible" to reach a Brexit deal that "works for everyone" with weeks.

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