DUP accuses May of breaking Brexit pledge over Irish Sea border

DUP accuses May of breaking Brexit pledge over Irish Sea border

The letter, seen by The Times of London, was in response to a letter sent by the DUP to May on 1 November and suggests the European Union is looking for a customs border in the Irish Sea between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

"We would not be able to support this if it came to Parliament in the form that it is in the letter", the DUP leader said.

Current EU proposals state that United Kingdom officials would be "competent authorities" to carry out checks, but in line with EU rules, something the DUP has declared a red line in any Brexit deal they agree to.

"The most important thing for me is the objective and that is to give everyone in northern Ireland and Ireland assurance that a hard border will not develop between north and south no matter what else may happen in the years ahead", Varadkar said.

It states that the EU has proposed a contingency plan to keep Northern Ireland tied to Brussels' customs union and single market if future trade talks are unsuccessful.

A spokesman added that "the government will not agree anything that brings about a hard border on the island of Ireland".

The DUP has seized on a particular paragraph- which has been seen by the Times - in which May said she could not accept circumstances or conditions that could break up the United Kingdom customs territory to come in to force.

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Mr Wilson also said: "In that letter it makes it quite clear the government has accepted there will be a Northern Ireland-only backstop, that that backstop will require specific alignment for regulations, a solution which does that, and the scope of that will be carefully subscribed".

In the five-page letter to Arlene Foster, the DUP leader, and Nigel Dodds, her deputy, Mrs May said the European Union is still pushing for the "backstop to the backstop" but insists that she would never allow a divide between Ulster and Great Britain to "come into force".

Democratic Unionist Party leader Arlene Foster has said Theresa May's no deal-Brexit plan "raises alarm bells".

Foster said the British Prime Minister now has to decide if she wants to push forward with this proposal without the support of the 10 DUP MPs.

"People will need to ask themselves what is it that is going to be in the best interests of those who sent them to Westminster to represent them, to ensure that we maintain living standards and investment and prosperity and employment in our country".

Speaking this afternoon in the Isle of Man, Leo Varadkar says a Brexit agreement is possible in the near future.

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