Irish government issues statement following Theresa May's crushing defeat

Irish government issues statement following Theresa May's crushing defeat”

He was heard confirming the need for border checks if Britain crashes out of the European Union - most likely in the Irish Sea - and said: "But we can't get into where they'll be".

The EU has "hard questions to answer now" after Theresa May suffered a huge defeat on her Brexit deal, a Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) MP has said.

Mr Eastwood said that Northern Ireland must be protected through a backstop.

"Go back to the European Union and make it clear this deal's not going to work", he said.

'There were 20,000 soldiers in Northern Ireland and they could not hermetically seal the border in Northern Ireland.

SDLP leader Colum Eastwood said the backstop was "essential".

"Northern Ireland's economy and stability can't be sacrificed because politicians in London have failed to recognise the obvious".

"The prime minister and the team around her have been trying to resurrect their doomed Withdrawal Agreement for weeks", he said.

"Were the backstop to enter into force in whole or in part, it is meant to apply only temporarily, unless and until it is superseded by a subsequent agreement", they said.

Turning to her Conservative Party at a private meeting, May again warned lawmakers against fuelling division in Britain over Brexit and against allowing the main opposition Labour Party and its leader Jeremy Corbyn from winning the upper hand. A People's Vote is a must. "It is clear this deal would be detrimental to our nation's interests", he said.

"The Brexit process has been defined by a flawed concept, incompatible red-lines, unrealistic expectations and imaginary solutions". The statement noted that were the United Kingdom to exit the European Union without a deal in place, consequences for the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland would be significant.

Former Labour leader Ed Miliband said the PM must make "herself the servant of the House" if the deal was rejected, giving Parliament an "open and honest process" to express their will. It deserved no better.

The EU has given fresh written assurances about how the backstop might be triggered and how long it would last.

Voting begins at 7pm (1900 GMT), with MPs likely to decide on a number of amendments first, which could seek to change or kill the Brexit deal.

"We are now closer than ever to the possibility of a no deal that will be a disaster for Northern Ireland".

The diplomat said much would depend on the scale of May's expected defeat.

As the vote looms, the prime minister is also facing a no-confidence vote which the Labor opposition threatened to initiate after May's Brexit proposal fails.

Director general of the British Irish Chamber, John McGrane said: "The British Irish Chamber regrets the outcome in Westminster this evening".

Mrs Foster told the audience she had deja vu having come to London to argue against the Withdrawal Agreement before the Meaningful Vote was pulled in December.

But though May is weakened, the executive has significant powers, especially during times of crisis, so it was unclear how parliament would be able to take control of Brexit. "We await the UK Government's Plan B and hope that it will offer a way forward that cannot only secure the support of politicians but will also deliver certainty and security for business, trade and jobs".

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