Economy

DUP's Foster says May 'cannot in good conscience' recommend Brexit backstop

DUP's Foster says May 'cannot in good conscience' recommend Brexit backstop”

"She said that the nationalist party supported remaining in the customs union and single market because it would give the north continued unfettered access to the EU market of around 500 million people and the British market of 67 million".

The news comes after the Democratic Unionist Party threatened to vote against the Budget, and potentially bring down the Government, in opposition to a backstop plan that would treat Northern Ireland differently to the rest of Great Britain.

While the United Kingdom will effectively stay in the single market and customs union during the transition period up to December 2020, Brexiteers fear the new proposal would keep the United Kingdom in the customs union for years thereafter until a full trade deal could be agreed with the EU27.

"The Johnsonian Canada plus plus is as big a pipe dream as Chequers", he said. Policing of the deal and agreeing rules on produce such as camembert cheese and Parma ham that is protected inside the European Union against imitations from elsewhere needed more polishing, he added.

Sammy Wilson, the DUP's Brexit spokesman, warned the PM was pursuing "the road to parliamentary defeat" because his party would vote against any deal that included the proposed backstop, branded a "sell-out".

The European Union is doing all it can to ensure checks on goods moving across Northern Ireland's borders would be made "in the least intrusive way possible", for example on ferries, at ports or in factories of origin, he said.

He added the Northern Ireland party can not be bribed and "no one should underestimate their resolve".

Talk of a draft deal having been agreed in Brussels on the Irish backstop was rubbished by Whitehall insiders, who urged caution.

EU's chief negotiator Michel Barnier has said there could be a deal by next Wednesday but only on the condition the Prime Minister agrees to install a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May attends a roundtable meeting with business leaders in London, Britain, October 11, 2018.

It will follow another Whitehall meeting of the Joint Ministerial Committee, which will be attended by Mr Lidington and his colleagues Dominic Raab, the Brexit Secretary, and David Mundell, the Scottish Secretary.

That is likely to be enough to get a deal over the line at next week's European Council, which has been dubbed the "moment of truth" for Brexit negotiations.

"Intensive technical negotiations are continuing to see if we can reach the decisive progress we were referring to yesterday".



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